Your February Gardening Guide
It’s February, the month of LOVE!
So it’s all about TLC this month, for those special people in your life and of course your garden too!
General February Garden Tasks
- Give your summer flowering shrubs a light pruning to tidy them up – and if you’ve experienced hail damage, cut away damaged leaves and flowers to allow for fresh new blooms to be produced.
- Remove dead flowers from summer flowering perennials like Agapanthus and Liliums. Wait for the cooler days of March and April to lift and divide these.
- Dead head flowering bulbs, like Dahlias, to extend their flowering time. Feed bulbs that have finished flowering with a good quality bulb food – now is the time that they store these nutrients in their little bulbs for winter dormancy and to ensure beautiful blooms in the next season.
- Deadhead summer annuals regularly and feed fortnightly with a liquid fertiliser. Start sowing winter-flowering annuals from seed available in our seed section now.
- Check and spray all susceptible plants for aphids, powdery mildew, black spot, rust and redspidermite – our Inside Information can assist with suggestions on what products to use. Check out our blog all about common pests and diseases |HERE|.
- Check the garden for snails and slugs and put out an organic bait of your choice.
- Water plants deeply when it’s not raining in order to encourage roots to grow deeper in search of water; this keeps roots cooler and improves the plants’ ability to withstand drought. Always remember to adhere to the water restrictions for your area.
- Water rose bushes deeply 3 times per week and maintain a thick layer of mulch, keeping the area around stems free. Fertilise with a balanced rose food to boost the last flush of flowers.
- Feed Azaleas and Camellias with an acid-loving plant food now. Mulch with acid compost and water well to give them a yearly growth boost and to help them set full buds.
- Feed plants in containers and hanging baskets with a liquid fertiliser every fortnight.
- Top up mulch in garden beds where needed to keep the soil cool and retain moisture during the hotter months.
- Mow the lawn regularly on a higher setting to protect roots from the heat. Water well if needed and feed with an organic, slow-release lawn fertiliser. Check for lawn caterpillars, mole crickets and lawn fungus and treat appropriately. Visit our Plant Doctor section next to inside information for more advice!
In the Food Garden
- Water vegetables and herbs more frequently during hot weather, especially those planted in containers. Feed fortnightly with an organic, seaweed -based fertiliser.
- Pests like aphids, redspidermite and white fly thrive in this hot weather. Check plants regularly and spray with an organic pesticide if they cannot be controlled manually.
- Remove your spent summer veg that have finished bearing. A final planting of tomato, brinjal and green pepper seedlings can still be made. Prepare your soil for winter vegetable sowing and planting. Work a generous amount of good quality compost into the soil in preparation.
- Do a last planting of fast-growing annual herbs, like basil, dill and coriander now.
- Start sowing your choice of winter vegetable and herb seeds available in the seed section at Lifestyle Home Garden now. Rather sow in seed trays while the weather is still so hot and keep the young seedlings under 30-40% shade cloth or in the dappled shade of a tree.
- Top up the mulch layer around citrus trees and water twice a week, if needed. Feed with an organic 3:1:5 fertiliser along the drip line of the tree. Check for aphids and psylla and treat appropriately.
- Once deciduous fruits have stopped producing, shape the tree lightly and remove any diseased branches. Ensure that all fallen fruit is removed from around the tree – this is a breeding ground for fruit fly. Feed with a general 2:3:2 fertiliser and water well.
- Prepare the beds for strawberries in late summer by digging a layer of compost, bone meal and organic 2:3:2 fertiliser into the soil.
- Pick the last of your granadillas and feed with an organic 2:3:2 fertiliser.
- Water all berries well to ensure a good autumn crop.
- Harvest garlic and onions when the flower heads topple over and the leaves start yellowing, but before they dry out completely.
For the Love of Bees and Bugs…
Look after the beneficial insects in the garden – they help to keep your garden pest free. Only spray pesticides if really needed and then spray during the late afternoon when they are less active. Have some fun building them a bug hotel where they can find a safe haven and perhaps a bite to eat –free board and lodging for all their hard work!