If, like us, you’re beginning to get a little bored of being inside then there’s still plenty to do outside at this time of year if you’re lucky enough to have a garden.
If you haven’t paid much attention to your garden for a few weeks, then slip on a pair of wellies and have a wander around! You’ll probably find that some shrubs are starting to put out new leaves, and any snowdrops or daffodils will be starting to show green shoots. It won’t be long before the new season’s growth really starts to kick in (we’re staying optimistic, anyway!) so February is a great time to get the last of the winter’s jobs out of the way before spring.
Clean any plant pots ready for use. If your empty plant pots have spent the winter sitting forlornly behind the garage, then the changes are they’re covered in moss and home to a family of slugs by now. Pick a dry day, and clean them with a pressure washer or with a good old-fashioned scrubbing brush and bucket of hot, soapy water. Make sure drainage holes are clear, and leave them up-ended to dry. They’ll be ready once you need them for potting out later in the year. If you’ve got some energy left, you can also overhaul gardening tools and clear water butts.
Tidy up the greenhouse. While it’s no-one’s favourite job, it is a satisfying one! Greenhouse windows are best cleaned by hand as a pressure washer can damage delicate clips. Clean them inside and out, and make sure any vents and hinges are still working. You could also take the opportunity to sort through that Leaning Tower of plastic plant pots, and got rid of any you don’t need.
Start weeding. This is a great time to get on top of the weeds, and most will be in a dormant state and be relatively easy to see and uproot from the wet ground. Once they start growing in the spring, the job will get a lot harder!
Overhaul bird feeders. This time of the can be a lean time for birds, so make sure feeders are in top top shape. Clean them with warm soapy water and wait for them to dry before refilling. In very cold weather birds can struggle to drink as everything is frozen, so put out a shallow dish of water as well as a good variety of food.
Make plans! Decide what your flowers beds are going to look like this year, and order any seeds ready for sowing a little later in the year.
Pruning. It’s the ideal time to prune apple and pear trees and also rose bushes, as these plants are still dormant at this time of year. If you have other varieties of fruit trees such as plums, these are more delicate and best left until later in the year.
Clean green, slippery patches from pathways and stone terraces. You can do this with a pressure washer, with good old-fashioned elbow grease (a hosepipe, bucket of warm soapy water and a garden broom) or with a specialist pour-on product from garden centres. It’s still a little early to clean patio furniture and garden benches, but you can check them over at this stage to see if any repairs are needed before spring.
Now all we need is the weather to improve – fingers crossed!