Hello, February! Spring is well on its way, and that makes it the perfect time to start preparing your garden. It might seem early, especially if you live somewhere that still sees freezes and snow this month, but by getting all your proverbial ducks in a row now, you can help your garden to thrive. Check out these top February gardening tasks to get ahead of them!
Taking time to complete spring cleaning in your garden can ensure that you’re ready to plant your seeds and sprouts when the timing is right based on climate and agricultural zone. Consider taking these steps to get your garden spring-ready:
- Prepare a cold frame to protect hardening spring plants.
- Weed garden beds.
- Remove old plant debris.
- Make sure all insulation is in place around overwintering plants’ pots.
Some plants will need to be pruned in the winter while they’re still dormant for best results. This is especially true for fruit trees and soft fruit plants, such as apples, raspberries, or blackcurrants.
Deciduous grasses and evergreen hedges should also be pruned in late winter to make space for spring growth.
Preparing seeds to transplant depends on what you would like to grow and where you live. Check your USDA hardiness zone and plan accordingly. Many can be started indoors in pots and the sprouts can be transplanted into the ground when the weather is warmer.
Net Fruits and Veggie Plants
Many fruit and vegetable plants are quite attractive to birds and other pests. By netting these crops off, you can protect your harvest from being pilfered.
Transplant Deciduous Shrubs and Trees While Still Dormant
Shrubs and trees are often best transplanted while still dormant in the winter. Planting your new fruit trees or deciduous shrubs in the winter before their leaves come in allows them to settle in with less stress and set up new roots to be ready for the spring growth spurts.
Late winter is the perfect time to fertilize soil. Cover the soil in a layer of compost or well-rotted manure and mix it in.
This time of year is perfect for directly fertilizing any annual plants or trees you may have. Give fruit trees and bushes a sprinkle of sulphate of potash around their bases to nourish and encourage them to grow fruit.
Chitting tubers involves allowing the seed potatoes or other tubers to begin sprouting shoots before planting them. While not necessary, this can help provide the crop with an extra boost to allow for quicker maturity.
Divide Bulbs and Clumps as Necessary
Any large clumps of snowdrops or other winter aconites should be divided after flowering. You can then take the divided clumps to start new colonies.
Congested clumps of herbaceous perennials and grasses should also be divided to prepare space for new growth.
Rhubarb clumps should also be divided. Replant the extra clumps to propagate more growth.
Plant Under Cover
Some vegetable beds can be sown in February, depending on your USDA hardiness zone. Check the zoning and last frost dates in your area and plan accordingly. Some cold-tolerant veggies can be planted in February if you cover them to protect them from the frost.
Some top fruit trees may require protection from the frost as well. These can benefit from frost cover in the late winter and early spring, as the buds and flowers will be particularly sensitive to the cold.
Prepare the Greenhouse
Do you plan on using a greenhouse? A bit of preparation can get it ready for late winter growth. Make sure the glazing has been washed to allow as much sunlight as possible to enter.
This month, you can sow many plants, such as sweet peas, summer bedding, and tender annuals in a sunny place. Tender crops such as tomatoes and chilies can be sown in heated propagators in the greenhouse this month. However, make sure that the greenhouse temperatures are monitored to ensure that heaters are all working as expected.
If you have soft fruit trees in the greenhouse that are blossoming this month, hand-pollinate their blossoms this month to encourage them to grow.
Plant summer bulbs indoors in pots or heated greenhouses to protect them from the cold.