What to do in the Garden in February

Initial lawn care

The lawn may be looking a little tatty after the worst of the weather has passed and may be littered with fallen twigs and the last of last year’s leaves. On a dry day start by picking up the larger debris by hand and then run the mower over the lawn on a high setting.

 

Flatten uneven lumps and bumps in the lawn

A lumpy lawn is difficult to mow, while the weather’s cool and damp you can repair any lawn ‘lumps’ without the grass going dry and yellow.

1. Using an edging iron or spade, cut a rectangular patch around the offending ‘lump’ and another cut right through the middle to a depth of about 3 inches.

2. From the centre cut of the rectangle, peel back the two flaps of turf to reveal the soil below.

3. Depending on whether the patch was a bump or a dip, either fill in with extra soil or remove some of the existing soil. When you replace the two flaps of turf make sure it’s level and firm down by walking on your heels over it.

 

Cut new edges around beds, borders and paths

Now’s a great time to create a new bed or border in your garden or even just to adapt the shape or your existing borders. This can be done with either an edging iron or spade.

Where you have grass growing next to paths you may find the grass starts to overlap. Take an edging iron or spade and slice through the grass where the path line begins, peel off the grass and you’re left with a clean, sharp edge!

When cutting a new edge, bed or border in your lawn, always mark it out first to make sure you are cutting in the right place. Spray paint can be used to mark out an edge or if you have any old rope or hose pipe in your shed, simply lay it out on the ground and use it as a template.

Gardening in February

 

Gardening in February

Divide perennials

If you have a herbaceous border in your garden that’s packed full of perennials, now’s the time to divide them to achieve a better planting pattern.

Perennial ‘clumps’ tend to get bigger and bigger every year, but a large round clump isn’t always the desired effect. The best thing to do is to get a spade and physically slice through the clump. Large clumps can be divided into four or even six, small clumps can be divided into two or three.

Once the unearthed clumps have been divided they should be re-planted straight away. Try planting in large swathes or plant separately at equal distances along the border. After dividing, if you find you have excess, you can give a mini-clump to a friend or neighbour for their garden, everybody loves free plants!

 

Top-up paths and patios with fresh gravel

The gravel in paths and patios can slowly start to sink into the ground. As it’s good to start the New Year afresh and make sure everything is prepared and looking good for when the garden comes to life later in the spring, it’s a good idea to top-up your paths with fresh gravel.

First, pull out any weeds that have managed to emerge during the cold winter months, then add fresh gravel and rake out evenly.

Prepare beds and borders

Hoe and weed

Any weeds that have managed to germinate over the winter need to be removed in preparation for the busy spring season. Depending on how many weeds you have growing in your garden they can be removed by hand or hoed away.

Fork-over

Give your beds and borders a good tilth and help improve drainage by lightly forking over the soil surface.

Re-shape and dig edges

If you decide to change the shape of your beds and borders, now’s the best time to do it. Use a spade or edging iron to cut fresh, clean edges, remember to use a template to cut to, it’s easy to end up with an odd shaped flower bed! You can mark out your new edge with spray paint, rope or even a stretch of hosepipe. Once you’re happy with the shape it’s time to dig the edges. To do this, simply push a spade into the soil along the edge of the border and flick the soil towards the centre of the bed to create a gap between the lawn edge and soil. This looks neat and tidy and also prevents the soil from overflowing on to the lawn when it rains.

 

Always throw weeds away in your local green waste collection bin and not on your compost heap! Both annual and perennial weeds will deposit seeds in your compost and grow again wherever you use it!

 

Apply Nematodes to problem areas

Where nasty pests are affecting your garden, be it Vine Weevil, Chafer Grubs, Slugs or Leatherjackets, there are Nematodes available to combat this problem.

Nematodes should be applied at least twice a year to have full effect and February is a good time to start. Although slugs are not visible and are not causing you any problems at this time of year, they are around and it’s a good idea to reduce the population before they reproduce and multiply just in time to eat all your young bedding plants! For slugs, another dose should be applied in late April to kill off any that you missed the first time round.

 

Chafer Grubs and Leather jackets: These beetle larvae live in the ground and eat roots. If you have plants dying for apparently no reason they can sometimes be the reason and also for brown patches in the lawn. It’s best to treat the whole garden for this problem as they can often be everywhere even if they haven’t started to damage your plants yet.

 

Defrost frozen ponds

It’s important to keep at least a small part of your pond open to air. To avoid harm to any of your pond life, there are two methods of helping prevent your pond from freezing over.
1) Put a buoyant in the water, such as a floating ball. The gentle bobbing will keep the water moving slightly stopping it from freezing completely.
2) Go out in the morning with a hot pan and melt a hole through the ice.


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