February in the Garden 2020
When February comes around I love the anticipation of a new growing season ahead. Even though we are still in winter, this year you can sense that the garden is coming alive as snowdrops, hellebores and anemones appear like magic. When I walk around my garden (which I try to do every day) I always notice if something has changed. Today it was a tree peony that I only put in last year as a small plant but already it has begun to shoot again ready for this year’s flower, or two, if I’m lucky. Here are some jobs to be doing in the garden over the next month:-
Brookside Nursery Top Gardening Tips for February
SPREAD SOME MUCK
If, like me, you do not have a horse or access to well-rotted manure, the best option is to buy some bags of farmyard manure from your local garden nursery. I am a bit late doing this, but the roses and shrubs will still appreciate the effort, as will the soil in general. If you have particular areas garden beds that are either too dry or too wet, digging in some manure helps to improve the condition and texture of the soil.
PRUNE BUDDLEIA (Butterfly bush) - Mid-February is about the right time to cut back Buddleia davidii. This year’s flowers appear on the new stems that grow this season so if you have a mature plant that is taking over, it can be almost cut back to within a foot of the ground leaving two to four shoots on each stem using a pair of stout loppers. If you want to leave a few longer stems you can shape the whole plant to a neat framework. It may seem like drastic action but rarely have I seen a dead Buddleia!
PLANT SNOWDROPS - If you follow any gardening sites on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter you will be seeing lots of snowdrop photographs. If your garden doesn’t have any or perhaps needs a few more to look like a ‘proper display’, now is the time to buy some ‘in the green’. This can be an inexpensive way to increase your stock and you can buy direct from the growers and they arrive just nearing the end of their flowering stage but can be easily split and planted up into the garden where they can be left to multiply over the years.
Deciduous hedges, like Hydrangea petiolaris and Hazel, and partly deciduous hedges like ligustrum (privet) and beech, when the leaves stay attached but change from green to brown in the winter, can be tidied and shaped before new growth appears in spring and before birds begin to nest.
TOP DRESS SHRUBS – If you have mature shrubs that grow in containers and pots, February is a good month to either repot them onto the next size up pot with fresh compost or if they are a slow growing variety remove the top three or four inches of compost/soil and replace with fresh. This will give the plants a boost of nutrients and will invigorate the growth.
I have a myriad of catalogues popping through the letterbox in February so once I have done a few tasks in the garden there is nothing better to do than sit down with a brew and peruse all the new plants I would like this summer, and if you haven’t got yours already, our Brookside Nursery Spring/Summer 2020 plant catalogue is now out so order a copy today!