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.
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 is 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!)
However, there are still some things that can be done in the garden, weather dependent of course:
Planning & Tidying Up
- If the weather’s clement, it is a good time for getting ready for the new season. Clean and tidy the greenhouse and shed(s) if you have them. Any regularly used garden tools should be cleaned and sharpened too.
- Plan this year’s vegetable beds to ensure you grow each type of crop in a different bed to previous years. Its also a good time of year to dig over your vegetable beds ready for the sowing season.
- It is also a good time to add a bird feeder to your garden if you already do not have one. If you do have one or two – keep them topped up, especially in cold/snowy weather.
Bare Root & ‘In the Green’ Planting
- Divide and/or establish new colonies of snowdrops and other plants best planted ‘in the green’.
- If the ground is not frozen or waterlogged, now is the time to plant bare root roses, trees, hedges, and shrubs.
- This is also a good time for moving existing trees and shrubs – but again, only if the soil is not frozen or waterlogged.
- Remove any dead leaves on Hellebores to reduce the spread of disease.
- 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. It is also a good time to add an all-purpose fertiliser along the base of existing hedges and around shrubs.
- Trim back ivy, and other climbers that have outgrown their space, before birds start nesting.
Lastly… February can be a fickle month. Some years it can be very cold and 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 or starting off seeds. But beware, winter may not be over yet – don’t get carried away!