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February's Chores PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bakker Company & Parag Nawathe   
Feb 04, 2006 at 08:42 AM

Although February can treat us to some severe frosts, many gardeners are already looking to the new gardening season. As soon as temperatures stay above freezing in the daytime you can get going.


The garden in general

  • Remove weeds, now it easy to keep on top.
  • Fertilize your borders, shrubs and, especially, your roses using dried granulated cow manure, for example.
  • Climbers can be re-tied and trained.
  • Clay or sandy soil can be improved by adding a layer of mulch (half rotted organic material).
  • Clear away all branches and leaves that have served as frost protection.

Plants

  • Just about any deciduous or non-deciduous plant can be planted now. A touch of night frost won't harm them.
  • Deciduous shrubs and perennials can be moved if they need to be.
  • Make sure the rootball does not dry out in frosty spells.
  • If the garden soil is very wet it is better to let it dry out for a bit longer before you plant or move plants.

Lawn

  • Leave your lawn alone for a bit. Only if there are big puddles on it you should take action. Pierce the soil several times with a fork. This should resolve the problem.
  • Mossy lawns can be treated with iron sulphide (moss killer).

Tub plants

  • Water the plants sparsely still and aerate them regularly.
  • February is a good time for re-potting most plants.
  • Use larger, clean pots and potting compost with clay. This retains more water.
  • Citrus trees and plants like Bougainvillaea should only be re-potted if they outgrow their pot.

Pruning

  • Trees, shrubs, ivy and late flowering clematis can only be pruned during frost-free spells.
  • Trees that weep easily should not be pruned until they shoot.
  • Dead foliage should have been removed by now.

Vegetable garden

  • Weather permitting, the first fruit shrubs can be planted now.
  • If you have a greenhouse you can sow the first vegetables and geraniums.
  • In mild weather you can make a start with pruning fruit trees.

Pond

  • In sub-zero temperatures check regularly to see if the pond has frozen over.
  • If it has, never cut a hole in the ice with an axe. Fish may not survive the shock. Always try and place a football in the pond to all an airhole.
  • Remove any snow from the ice. It will block out the light from the pond.

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