10 things to do in the garden during February

Spring in sight

February is one of my favourite months in the garden. Bulbs are appearing and the garden is starting to wake up. Preparations for spring can begin now and, as long as the ground isn’t frozen, you can start to get your vegetable seed beds ready for action by removing all weeds and forking in plenty of compost. Cover prepared soil to keep it drier and warmer in preparation for spring planting.

First sowings

Though it is early, it’s time to start off the slower-growing half-hardy annuals and perennials. Pelargonium, begonia and osteospermum are easy from seed if you have a warm windowsill or a heated corner in a glasshouse. Some seeds take two to three weeks to germinate, by which time it will nearly be March.

Kit check

Check your tools are in good nick and your garden machinery is working. While you're at it why not give your shed a good spring clean – you'll thank yourself for a clean and tidy space come March.

Snowdrop patrol

Snowdrops are a cheerful sight in the garden at this time of year. Dividing and replanting is a great thing to do in February to increase the clumps. As the flowers begin to fade, dig up the snowdrops and gently tease the bulbs apart before replanting the snowdrops in groups of five.

Bright and earlies

Start chitting early potatoes — stand them on end in a module tray or egg box and place them in a bright, cool, frost-free place. Once grown, rub off all but the four strongest sprouts and when they have grown to around an inch, chitting is completed.

Cutting edge

With spring on the way it’s worth preparing your lawn for the season ahead. One option is to install lawn edging which gives a neat and tidy appearance and makes maintenance easier. It’s a bit like a facelift for your lawn.

Great British Life: Prune wisteria now for a better chance of an impressive display later in the year. PHOTO: Getty ImagesPrune wisteria now for a better chance of an impressive display later in the year. PHOTO: Getty Images

Winter pruning 

Wisteria is much more likely to flower if it’s pruned correctly. Don’t be scared to go in for the chop. Cut back the main shoot to 75cm above the topmost side shoots, then cut all the side shoots back by a third of their overall growth to a healthy growth bud. Removing spent flowers on Mahonia, Jasmine and Viburnum as well as trimming untidy branches will also encourage a blooming good season ahead.

Safe houses 

National Nest Box week takes place in February, which is a scheme run to encourage us to add nest boxes to our gardens. When choosing your spot, make sure you site your box out of the wind and strong sunlight. It should be about 1-3m above the ground, ideally on a tree trunk, but a wall or shed is fine, too.

Pretty primroses

Pots of winter bedding will bring a welcome splash of colour to the garden at this time of year. Primroses are a great choice and look beautiful paired with an evergreen such as skimmia. Remember to keep the soil moist but not wet.

Weeding out

It’s never too early to start weeding. Make it a habit to pull out any weed seedlings like buttercup, nettle and couch while out and about in your garden. Bindweed might be more of an issue, as it delves deep when established. Where it is getting a hold, dig out plants that might be affected, carefully fork out and burn the white roots, and replant anything displaced by the upheaval.

Great British Life: Camellias add glorious colour to a winter garden. PHOTO: Getty Images Camellias add glorious colour to a winter garden. PHOTO: Getty Images

Plant of the month: Camellias

For some gorgeous winter beauty, you can’t beat the camellia. The Camellia japonica, or Japanese rose, brightens even the dullest winter days. Camellia are easy to grow, glossy evergreens that are ideal for containers. Their showy flowers come in whites, pinks and reds and appear early in the season, a time when not much else is flowering.