Jobs for the garden in January and February

This time of year, when the weather is snowy, frosty or as wet as water, a spot of armchair gardening is called for.  Start to think about how you want your garden to be this year and plan your borders, containers and veggie beds.  Have a good trawl through plant and seed catalogues before placing orders for your seeds and plugs.  Get in touch if you’re struggling to put together a coherent plan or need advice on what/where to order.

This is also a great time for actively not doing things in the garden if the conditions are poor!  Avoid walking on the lawn when it’s covered in snow or frost for example (but make sure you brush any snow from hedges, conifers and shrubs to prevent damage… and off your greenhouse too!)

But in case you thought you’d been let off the hook completely, on to the things that you can be doing, weather dependent of course:

  • If the weather’s clement, it’s a good time for getting ready for the new season.  Clean and tidy greenhouse and sheds.  Prepare veggie beds.
  • If the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged, now is the time to plant bare root roses, trees, hedges and shrubs.  Bare root plants are less expensive than their container grown equivalents.
  • This is also a good time for moving existing trees and shrubs – but again, only if the soil isn’t frozen or waterlogged.
  • Prune apples and pears, currant and gooseberry bushes, and also Wisteria.  Winter flowering shrubs, including heathers, may also be pruned once they have finished flowering.
  • Prune evergreen hedges and overgrown deciduous ones.
  • Remove any dead leaves on Hellebores
  • Divide and plant snowdrops and other plants best planted “in the green”.

Lastly… February can be a fickle month.  Some years it can be very cold (as in early February 2012).  In other years it can be almost spring-like.  If it is very mild, you could start some activities normally undertaken in March – the main tranche of spring pruning for example (more details of this in due course!), or starting off seeds.  But beware, winter may not be over yet – don’t get carried away!

Have I missed anything?  Let me know in the comments below & I’ll add it into the list!  If any of the above needs further explanation, please get in touch.

photo credits: photojenni, Roger Ward and llamnudds

2 comments

  1. susan rice says:

    excellent and informative

  2. alison says:

    Thanks Susan – glad it was useful!

    We’ll be publishing more ‘Jobs for the garden’ in March – watch this space.

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