Looking for ideas for what to do in the garden in February? Well, look no further as we have compiled a list of garden jobs to keep you busy throughout the month.
The first rule of pruning is to remove the four Ds. Dead, Dying, Diseased and Damaged. This is best done in winter when you can see the problem. Aftr that prune for reversion and tidying.
The difficulty rating for this garden job is 2 out of 5 and you will need: Secateurs, Pruning Saw, Gloves
For larger branches, remove any obvious dead, diseased or damaged wood, cutting back to live wood using a clean saw.
Smaller shoots can be cut using clean secatuers cutting back just above an outward facing bud.
A green shoot on a varigated shrub needs removing at its base. This is known as reversion and any all green shoots are stonger and eventually take over, changing the look of the plant.
Remove old flower heads from plants like lavendar in spring to allow room for new growth.
It is important to know the pH of your soil before you plant. Some plants prefer more acidic soil (lower pH) and some plants prefer alkaline (higher pH). Home testing kits are readily available and are easy to use.
The difficulty rating for this garden job is 2 out of 5 and you will need: pH Testing Kit
Take a sample of soil from 10cm below ground level in the area you wish to plant and place it, with the indicator chemical, in the testing tube.
Add the required amount of de-ionised water to the tube to make a solution.
Seal the top of the tube and shake the contents well for several minutes. Then stand upright and allow the mixture to settle for at least 30 minutes.
Once the mixture has settled check the colour against the pH chart. The red end of the spectrum is acidic, green is neutral and blue to purple is alkaline.
Chitting is the practice of encouraging potatoes to start to shoot before you plant them. It makes it easier to pick good potatoes to plant and helps them get off to a rapid start. Buying seed potatoes each year is preferable to saving your own, as you always have fresh, clean stock.
The difficulty rating for this garden job is 2 out of 5 and you will need: Seed Potatoes, Seed Tray, Egg Box
Use fresh, healthy tubers each year and discard any that show signs of rot or damage.
Each of these 'eyes' will grow into a stem that will feed the root system and encourage lots of delicious potatoes.
Put the potatoes in a seed tray or egg box to chit, with the end showing the most eyes uppermost.
Place them in a cool, frost-free, well-lit spot to let the eyes develop. Once they are around 1cm long, the potatoes are ready to be planted out. Keep them the same way up as you plant and they will soon start to grow.
Lily-of-the-Valley is not the first plant you think of for forcing to have the flowers indoors, but it is ideal for a cool, well-lit spot out of direct sun and the fragrance is wonderful.
The difficulty rating for this garden job is 3 out of 5 and you will need: Lily-of-the-Valley roots, Compost, Pots
When you purchase a pack of lily-of-the-valley, you should get several roots that are either dormant or just coming into growth. Separate them to see how many you have.
Trim the roots to make them easier to pot, cutting them to about 5cm with clean, sharp secateurs.
Pot individually, or together in a larger pot, using fresh, sterile multipurpose compost. The tip of the shoot should be just above the compost. Water and allow to drain.
Stand in a cool, well-lit spot out of direct sun, as they are edge of woodland plants. Keep the compost moist, but not wet. After flowering, you can plant them out in the garden in a shaded area, where they will flower for years to come.
On ornamental plants (not fruit) there are a few basic reasons why you should prune, best remembered as the 4 Ds: Dead, Dying, Damaged and Diseased. Next, remove crossing or rubbing branches, any that have reverted to green and for shape.
The difficulty rating for this garden job is 2 out of 5 and you will need: Secateurs, pruning saw
Dead wood is easiest to see and remove in summer. Cut back to healthy, pale-coloured wood.
Die-back is common after early pruning where a rogue frost can catch you out. Cut back to just above a healthy bud.
Larger dead stems should be removed with a pruning saw, working very carefully so you do not damage nearby shoots.
Green shoots on a variegated plant should be removed, as they contain more chlorophyll and are stronger. If left, they will take over and you will lose the variegation.
We hope these projects have given you a few ideas and a bit of inspiration for what to do in your garden this month.