Tips for February 2024

January 28, 2024 1:57 pm Published by

Lift and divide snowdrops (Galanthus) and winter aconites (Eranthis) once they finish flowering.

Cut down all of last year’s autumn raspberry canes to ground level. New canes will start growing in the spring and then bear fruit later in the year.

Prune late flowering summer Clematis. Cut down to the lowest pair of buds. This will produce lots of new, vigorous growth providing plenty of flower. Unpruned, the plant can become a woody tangle with flowers produced too high up.

Sow peppers and chillies now in a heated propagator or on a sunny windowsill. These plants need a long growing season in which to grow and ripen fruit over the summer.

Plant overwintered dahlia tubers into a shallow tray of compost in a light, warm place. When the shoots reach 2.5cm (1in) divide the tubers, pot up and grow on in frost-free conditions until planting out in early June.

Deciduous hedges should be pruned this month before birds start nesting. March to August is the main breeding season for nesting birds, but always check for nests before carrying out work.

Cut back winter heathers (Erica carnea) to just below the flowered stems. Do not prune back too hard because they don’t regenerate from old wood.

Once the flowers have faded, cut back the stems of hippeastrum (Amaryllis) to the base. But keep watering and feeding  the plant so that the leaves die down naturally. Keep in a warm spot.

Pots of crocus and primrose (Primula vulgaris) are available now from garden centres, they will help to provide food for Bumblebees roused early from hibernation.

Prune established wisteria and campsis side shoots to two or three buds. You can also prune older woody growth to reduce the size or weight of the plant.