Month by month – gardening in February

I always remember back to a job I had years ago when I used to drive up the motorway home every night. I benchmarked February 10th as being light when I hit the slip road. It doesn’t always happen on that date though but in February I basically live in hope of the light! At the end of this month I’ve usually managed to get up to my allotment after work and I start airing and cleaning the BBQ ready for March, when cooking and eating my evening meal up there becomes normal. This month could bring more snow and bad weather though, so we’re not out of the woods yet…

  1. Buy your seed potatoes and start ‘chitting‘ them by standing them up in trays (egg boxes are perfect) on your windowsill or anywhere light so they start sprouting.
  2. Start warming up the ground where you’ll be planting this year. Cover in polythene, mini poly tunnels or net boxes.
  3. Keep protecting pots of bulbs that haven’t come up yet from squirrels and water-logging. Keep them in your greenhouse, cold frame or a sheltered spot.
  4. Divide up any big clumps of bulbs after they have passed their best – snowdrops are the ideal candidates followed by clumps of grape hyacinths and daffodils next month.
  5. Start sowing chilies, peppers and early tomato varieties indoors or in a greenhouse that you can heat if temperatures plummet.
  6. Once they’ve finished flowering, prune winter flowering shrubs.
  7. Carefully prune fruit trees and certain types of clematis – don’t hard prune anything that flowers in spring.
  8. If your ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged you can plant garlic.
  9. As above, sow broad beans and/or plant out any well-established young broad bean plants that you’ve previously sown under cover.
  10. Go shopping for onion and shallot sets ready for next month, if your ground looks good though you could plant shallots in February. I tend to wait. You can also start sowing onion seeds now, although I prefer planting sets.

If it snows, clear it off tree branches and shrubs (Adam finds this hilarious but just shake the shrubs and use a brush if need be to clear it from tree branches) and if all else fails stay inside and do some sowing! My seed sowing list this month is:

  • Chilies – Anaheim, Jalapeno, Cayenne and ‘Hot Thai Culinary’ from World Kitchen
  • Peppers – Californian Wonder and Ingrid sweet pepper varieties
  • Lobelia – String of Pearls
  • Tomato – Black Russian from Seed Parade
  • Cucumber – Beth Alpha
  • Broad beans – I’ll be sowing straight into the ground outside and planting out the ones I started off in December

The important thing to remember about planting out is that the ground must not be frozen or waterlogged. Don’t do any pruning or planting out just before a period of very cold weather – check the weather forecast for the week ahead first.

The most comprehensive guide I’ve seen this month is on Woolly Green. There’s a video on pruning wisteria if you’ve not done that already and some advice about lawns. I know that some bloggers pruned their wisteria before Christmas. Not Just Green Fingers also has a great guide for the kitchen gardener.

Talking of bloggers, Sue from Green Lane Allotments has listed what she’s sown so far and also done a great post about her new seed delivery. Jo from the Good Life has sown her pepper seeds and onion seeds. My complete seed list for the year is here

Please feel free to add your own February tips and advice. What will you be doing this month?

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22 Responses to “Month by month – gardening in February”

  1. Ricki Grady February 5, 2013 at 1:44 am #

    I can almost smell that hyacinth. February is garden show month around here. The excitement is palpable.

    • Anna B February 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

      Wow! Will you be showing any veg? I’m half way through your book by the way! Loving it!!! I’m just too short on time this month for pretty much everything. I shall keep you posted though :) Thanks for dropping by!

  2. anthonyvenable110 February 5, 2013 at 2:40 am #

    Reblogged this on anthonyvenable110.

    • Anna B February 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

      Thanks Anthony.

      • anthonyvenable110 February 6, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

        Not a problem, thanks for giving me something nice to look at in this dreary season.

  3. gardeninacity February 5, 2013 at 4:45 am #

    Sounds like you’re going to have a bountiful supply of veggies.

    • Anna B February 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

      Lets hope so dude! My folks are still harvesting from last year and although I purposefully choose to not grow over winter I am envious of their harvest and can’t wait to get going! Thanks so much for dropping by :)

  4. Mark Willis February 5, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    February is a “waiting” month for me. I’m just itching to get on and sow / plant, but I know it’s too early. At least I get to SEE my garden more often, with the light increasing, I get inspired by blogs from Australia etc, where their gardens are in full production – helps me to decide what I’m aiming for!

    • Anna B February 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      Hello Mark! Yes I love reading the global blogs too as it’s so nice to see what awaits us :) The extra light is great isn’t it. Thanks so much for visiting!

  5. Sue@GLAllotments February 5, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    I can’t wait for it to get light earlier too.
    Thanks for the mention

    • Anna B February 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

      Hiya Sue! No worries! You are worthy of many mentions!!

  6. Nadezda February 5, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    Anna, thanks for remember me to prune apple trees, now it’s in my plant too! What are the Russian black tomatoes? Here I never heard about them.

    • Anna B February 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

      Hello Nadezda, so maybe they aren’t really Russian?!! I was wondering if you had seen this variety before and I guess not! Thanks so much for visiting and for your comment :)

  7. djdfr February 5, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    I look forward to sowing some salad greens in the greenhouse. There is always clean-up to do.

    • Anna B February 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

      Yes! Great comment :) cleaning the greenhouse is a good one to do this month too if it’s not already been done and airing it. Thanks so much for dropping by and your contribution! :)

  8. Cathy February 5, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Yes, when I was still going out to work the first day of the year when I could set off without the car lights on was always noteworthy!

    • Anna B February 5, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

      Isn’t it funny that these things really make a big difference! I don’t know anyone that longs for the dark days! Thanks for dropping by Cathy :)

  9. wellywoman February 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    I can tell the light levels are changing by how far the sun is now shining on the back garden. For a few months it pretty much disappears from there but IT’S BACK. Yey! I like to feed my roses and fruit bushes at the end of the month with a high potash feed. Wood ash is good, followed by a mulch of compost.

    • Anna B February 6, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

      Great tip! Thank you so much and hooray for the sun shining on the garden :)

  10. thesneakymagpie February 6, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    I started chitting a couple of weeks ago and got some broadbeans and sweet peas in, a whole lot more to do including building proper beds, a busy few months ahead but so enjoyable!

  11. Jo February 7, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Thanks for the mention, Anna. There certainly won’t be much going on at my allotment for a while yet, the ground is still far too wet to get anything serious done up there. No sign of the onions or peppers germinating yet, but at least sowing some seed has allowed me to get on with a little something.

    • Anna B February 7, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

      Hello Jo! Yes, mine’s the same. It’s nice to do a bit of something isn’t it. I’m really looking forward to the spring and summer and that’s when the serious work starts! Thanks so much for dropping by and for your comment :)


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