February in the garden is a time of year for tidying up and preparing for summer, but also to do some early planting done and get some color into your garden. There are straggly seed heads to remove, still a few loose leaves blowing around to clear away, and you could dig in some compost where you plan to plant.
For those gardeners looking to buy plants, Covid 19 lockdowns mean that many of the places you would normally buy plants are closed. If you look around online though, you’ll find that some garden centers and pure online outlets offer a delivery service, and supermarkets also have some plants for sale.
A good way to add colour to your garden now is with bedding plants, and there are a number of flowers that will thrive at this time of year including Irish grown violas, pansies and primulas/primroses. They will instantly brighten up your garden in beds or pots.
Bedding plants typically last a few months and then die back, so if you want to plant something more permanent then think about planting perennials, they last for a number of years and will flower every year at the same time. Put them together in groups of say five or six so they really stick out. Some of the perennials to plant now would be Irish grown hardy geraniums/Cranesbill, Japanese anemones, lupins and acanthus, that will all flower later in the year. In shrubs, camellias look fantastic in February, and their glossy foliage makes them look good all year round.
If you’re struggling to find plants to buy, you might try ordering seeds and seed trays online from Irish sites and have a go at producing some seedlings on your windowsill. It would be a great project to do with kids, and it’s really not that hard. A few of the flowers you could try to include cosmos, salvias, sweet peas, lobelias and dahlias.
Fruit and vegetables
February is a good time to prune apples and pears if you haven’t done that yet. It’s also a great time to get in early and plant some tomatoes and peppers seeds indoors. Neither of them can handle any frost, so they will only be planted outside in May, but starting with a good strong plant will give you a really good crop – again, look on Irish sites for seeds and seed trays.