What to do in the garden in February

February 8, 2024

As the weather is beginning to warm up and the days start to feel longer, the anticipation for spring’s arrival begins.

February is a good time to prepare your garden and do the groundwork needed for a vibrant blooming garden in the months to come. Bulbs, like crocuses and daffodils are already beginning to appear. From pruning to planning, there’s a lot of essential work you can do in your garden, including assessing the benefits of a water butt.

February is an ideal time to prune shrubs, trees, and perennial plants. It is important to remove dead, damaged, or diseased branches to promote healthy growth and prevent the spread of disease. Make sure to research specific pruning requirements for each plant species, as improper pruning techniques can harm rather than benefit your garden. You can find information on pruning winter flowering plants here, and evergreen foliage here.

Whilst the temperature is increasing, frost still threatens early blooming plants. Fruit trees such as apples, pears and soft fruit like strawberries are particularly vulnerable to frost. It’s important to cover plants in full flower and early buds by covering them with fleeces and blankets. You can find more information about protecting fruit trees here. Consider relocating potted plants to sheltered areas or bringing them indoors during particularly cold spells. Mulching around the base of plants provides additional insulation and helps regulate soil temperature.

Before the planting frenzy of spring begins, take time to prepare your soil. Adding compost or leaf mulch can improve soil structure, fertility, and drainage. Aerating compacted soil and removing weeds also contribute to creating a favourable environment for plant roots to thrive. You can also begin to sow cold-hardy vegetable crops like kale, broccoli, and lettuce, as well as flowers such as pansies and snapdragons either under cover or inside. Make sure you provide the seedlings with adequate warmth, light, and moisture to ensure germination and healthy seedling development.

Late winter is a great time to start planning what you’ll plant and where in the coming months. Before you start planting anything, it is important to consider factors such as sunlight exposure, soil conditions, and plant compatibility. You could even sketch out a rough layout or make a list of plants you'd like to incorporate, taking into account their growth habits, mature size, and seasonal interest. Planning ahead also allows for a cohesive and balanced garden design.  

If the summer of 2024 is anything like the last few, we can expect high temperatures and a lack of rainfall. It’s worth considering installing a water butt now, to take advantage of spring showers and prepare for the summer months. Rainwater is free of chemicals like chlorine and sodium that can build up in the soil with regular irrigation and interfere with healthy plant growth. It also contains nitrates as well as higher oxygen levels than tap water which aids growth. Check out our range of water butts here.

From pruning and soil preparation to seed sowing and planning, there's no shortage of tasks to keep green thumbs busy in the garden this month. By investing time and effort now, you'll reap the rewards of a flourishing garden that delights the senses and nourishes the soul in the months to come.