It may still be winter but if you get a milder day or two it's a great time to make a start preparing your garden for Spring, so that it really looks its best when the sun starts to shine. You can then enjoy your garden better, with many tasks already taken care of. February is the time to start with some planting, weeding flowerbeds and trimming hedges.
Here are the best jobs to get done in February:
Cut Old Growth
Cut last year's growth from any perennials, as close to the base as you can. Doing this in winter, before the growth of new crowns, means that you can cut as close as possible and avoid leaving old stems which can otherwise become awkward obstacles later on.
Clear up any waste and debris from flowerbeds and put on the compost heap - cut growth, dead leaves, weeds etc. Rake beds clean afterwards, in preparation for mulching and bulbs beginning to show in Spring.
If it's still regularly frosty then you may want to leave mulching until temperatures are a little warmer (generally above freezing), but otherwise there's no problem with starting to spread mulch on your beds, especially where bulbs are starting to come through. Lay down a layer approximately 5cm deep, to help cover any exposed bulbs and help them to grow.
Begin Sowing Seeds
February is a good time to start sowing the slow-growing hardy annuals and perennials such as pelargonium and begonia. These are easy to start growing in a warm window or heated section of a greenhouse. These seeds are quite slow-growing and so it will be around March by the time they germinate, when better light levels will help them to grow more strongly.
It's best not to prune roses until March, as it will then encourage growth and frost can harm fresh cuts. February is a good time for planting roses however, giving them the chance to reach a stage where they can take advantage of the Spring sunshine to be strongly established by the summer.
Pruning and Deadheading
If you haven't already, February is an ideal time to prune grapevines, wisteria, buddleia, hydrangeas and summer-flowering clematis. Prune heavily to about knee height on clematis as growth will be strong again once temperatures begin to rise.
The end of February is the best time to work on an old yew or holly hedge that may need attention. Prune back to the old wood on one side, and leave the other side to help feed the return of growth. It may look bad for a year or so but the fresh start will be worth it in the long run.
These tasks make it well worth braving the outdoors in February to help your garden to look its best later in the year, but if you don't fancy doing it yourself then why not contact a trusted garden maintenance company on TrustATrader?