When it comes to our plant friends, February isn’t all about red roses…
You never know what you’re going to get in February and March. Looking out the window into your garden in the morning, you might see ten-foot snowdrifts; or the sun gods teasing us with those first few golden rays. Some of the best days are somewhere in between; fresh, frosty air with brilliant sunrises and sunsets.
This year, the weather so far has been dry and increasingly mild, and you may be itching to get out into your garden, if you haven’t been out there already! It is proven that spending just 10 minutes outside can help boost mental health; not to mention a the physical health benefits from being outside and active. But where to start?
Often overwhelming, always satisfying, sloughing away the dead weight from your fruits, ferns and flowers is one of the first big jobs you’re likely to be tackling this year. Easy to plot out and shape with a big payoff come spring and summer, your roses, clematis and wisteria are a great place to start. Next, tend to your winter flowering shrubs like your sarcococca, mahonia and witch hazels. Now is also a great time to cut back any ornamental grasses to make room for new growth. Evergreen hedges may also be due a haircut, while any overgrown deciduous hedges may welcome a bit of targeted restoration pruning to encourage strong spring growth.
A plum job
Any fruit trees that haven’t started to bud yet can also be pruned. We recommend looking at the shape of your trees to see if you can reach the areas where you remember the most fruit growing last year and take it from there. Take out any branches crossing one another, trim water shoots (long, whippy growth that won’t bear fruit this year) and cut any dead or dying branches back to the base. A beautiful tree has a goblet shape to it, with good light and flow through the branches to keep it healthy and fruitful. Remember to remove no more than a third of your canopy each year. If restoration pruning is needed, it’s ok to do this over a period of two years, or even three if necessary.
Next, it’s time to give your beds some long-awaited attention. Flower beds and borders can really benefit from a layer of mulch in late winter to suppress weed growth in spring and give existing plants a boost of nutrients. As a rule, herbaceous plants also benefit from a covering during the winter months to protect from cold and frost. There is still an advantage to mulching now, any exposed soil will be covered before new weed growth starts in spring. Take care when walking on wet or frozen soil, as this can lead to compaction.
Remove any obvious weeds and debris and cover in a layer of your chosen mulch. Ideally, you’re looking to get to a depth of about 2 inches, keeping your mulch away from the stems of plants. Gently rake the surface and voila! You’re on the way to fabulously fertile ground that will see you through the spring and summer.
Time for a clear out
Spring cleaning isn’t just for indoors. We all know those garages, greenhouses and sheds need a clear out, best to earmark a sunny Sunday and get this somewhat unpleasant task out of the way as early in the year as possible, giving you more time to enjoy your garden when it starts getting a bit warmer. Extra points if you jet wash the patio!
As we move into spring, nurseries and garden centres are suddenly full of eager gardeners. Better to take stock of everything you need now and restock your greenhouse and garage with all the pots, tools and care products needed so you’re ready to dive straight in when you can. When it comes to plant care, less is more. Focus on getting a good multitasker that can be put to use all around your space to save you time, energy and, importantly, money. Our All Purpose Concentrate is an all-natural and vegan, child, pet and wildlife-friendly liquid organic growth stimulant that can be incorporated into your routine throughout the year to grow bigger, more beautiful and more plentiful flowers, fruits and veg and revive struggling plants of all shapes and sizes.
Once your beloved outdoor space is looking all neat and tidy, it’s time for the fun part – planning what you want to get from your garden this year. Whether you want to introduce more colour, or start growing your own veg, as the days start getting a bit longer, now is the perfect time to start researching the types of plants you want to get in the ground, when is best to go for it, and how best to look after them.
Hit Pinterest for inspiration and check back here throughout the season as our experts share detailed insights on how you can get the most out of your plants in 2023.