Winter is passing slowly, and the Snowdrops and winter Aconites are all beginning to show. There are also signs of some Crocuses popping through, and some miniature Irises are making an effort too.

Other plants and shrubs are making a great attempt at cheering us, Hellebores, Witch Hazel, Mahonia and Daphne, to name but a few. Some of these are highly scented, and if you don’t have them in your garden, then you should put them on a to have list.

If you have heeded the advice regarding planting bulbs, you will have a treat in store for the wealth of colour and interest they will bring over the next few months to enjoy.

February into March are the months for really getting to grips with the lawn and getting set up for the season ahead.

We start with the coring of the lawn, removing plugs of turf, which will help aerate the ground and relieve the compaction. (These plugs should not be left on the lawn but can go on to your compost heap.) Coring will also help to strengthen the root system. Following this exercise, we would start applying lawn sand or sulphate of iron, which will help ‘green up’ the lawn and kill off the moss. The moss will die and turn black. A couple of weeks later, the lawn should be raked and or scarified to remove the dead moss and any build-up of thatch. You should try and have this all done by the end of March, after which you can apply a spring fertiliser to the lawn.

February is still a good time to make any changes to your plant/shrub layout/ repositioning in the garden, lifting and dividing any herbaceous plants and moving them to other positions. When moving shrubs, ensure that you have a good root ball and dig a large enough hole to accommodate the root ball. Once in place, add some fertiliser or compost and water well before filling in the hole. You can still buy some ‘bare root’ roses for planting up, and again, a good feed and water is required.

Roses can be fickle, and always remember, you should not plant a rose in the place where you have just removed one. If you want to replace a rose in the same position, then you should first dig a hole at least 18” depth and width and remove that soil, sterilise the hole and replace it with fresh soil or compost; otherwise, you risk disease setting into the new rose.  

Finally, give your beds a thorough tidy now, removing as many weeds as possible. Doing this now will make life a lot easier when the growing season starts again. Again, do this by hand and get as many of the roots of the perennial weeds out as possible. If you use a hoe, you miss not getting the roots out, which encourages more growth and problems.

Once you have caught up, your mind wants to plan and start thinking about what summer plants you will introduce to the garden.

It never ends. Enjoy February


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