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February Checklist

February
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February boasts sunny summer days that provide for pristine growing and blossoming conditions for a variety of plant life and vegetables.

Sow these Veggies – Bush beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celery, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, spinach Swiss chard, turnips, brussels sprouts, cabbage (in some areas).

Sow these Herbs – basil, coriander, nasturtiums and flat-leaf parsley.

February Annuals – Cineraria, Dianthus, Gazanias, Iceland Poppies, Primulas, Violas
The best sowing time.

Prune – Remove weak stems and deadhead Hydrangeas that have finished flowering and clip hedges and topiaries.

Fertilise

Lawns
Apply LAN (high in nitrogen and fast working) for a luscious dark green carpet.

Flower Beds
Apply 3:1:5 SR (N) or 8:1:5 for roses and flowers every 4-6 weeks.

Veggie and Herb Gardens
Apply 2:3:4 every 4-6 weeks, for good roots. If you are planting leafy vegetables like spinach, use a fertiliser high in nitrogen like 7:1:3, every alternate month.

Containers and Indoor Plants
Feed every 4-6 weeks with a water- soluble fertiliser, or use a specifically formulated food for plants like African violets, Orchids and Ferns. You can also use a granular fertiliser like 8:1:5 in single specimen containers.

General to do List
•    February, this is the best time to enjoy your garden and the sunshine. Enjoy the scents and colours and the abundance of fruit and vegetables that are the results of the hard work done throughout the year in the garden.
•    Water and feed your plants regularly, especially hanging baskets and containers and climbers planted against a sunny wall.
•    Keep bird baths filled with fresh water.
•    Invest in an automatic irrigation system for the kitchen garden to avoid losing your precious plants.
•    In hot weather you can use bath or washing up water to water your garden as long as they are not too dirty or oily.
•    Keep water features and ponds topped up and clean, green algae can spread fast in the heat and can become toxic.
•    Keep weeding all your garden beds and containers. If left, this can become a huge task, rather weed a little more often than wait until it is out of control.
•    Cut back perennials if getting out of control or losing their shape.
•    Deadhead spent flowers on annuals, roses and shrubs to encourage more flowering.
•    Trim back woody plants like lavender and rosemary after flowering being careful not to cut back into the old wood.
•    Collect seed heads when they are nearly ripe just as they are turning brown and keep them in a paper bag in a cool, dry place for the next season.
•    Take cuttings of perennials and bedding plants.
•    Mow your lawn regularly to keep it trim in this vigorous growing season.
•    Harvest young vegetables and herbs regularly. This also helps plants produce more flowers and fruit to extend the season.
•    Tomatoes in particular need consistent watering to prevent flowers from getting dark patches on their bottom ends and May vegetables will bolt if they dry out.
•    With the abundant harvest this month, get some recipes out for freezing and bottling and make the most of this season. Harvest and freeze dry herbs.
•    In hot and humid conditions look out for blights and rots and spray with fungicide.
•    Raise marrows off the ground to prevent rotting. Save