Action for February Top jobs
Top three must-do jobs this month
Cut back grasses
As we saw in the 2008 Chelsea Flower show, deciduous grasses are becoming more and more popular. If you’ve planted some of these versatile, wildlife-attracting plants in your garden, now’s the time to trim them back.
The dead leaves and stalks will have formed an ideal shelter for wildlife over winter but you need to cut them back now so you can let new fresh growth come forth for spring.
Cut back the old growth with secateurs at the base and avoid any new growth you see coming through.
Keep an eye on your lawn
Our increasingly unpredictable climate means we can get mild periods of weather even in the depths of winter. Grass is quick to respond to this mildness and puts on lush growth.
As long as the ground isn’t wet or frozen, it’s a good idea to cut the grass, no matter how early in the year. It’ll keep your lawn looking tidy and avoids the grass getting long and difficult to cut. See our lawnmower reviews for current Best Buy mowers.
Don’t leave grass cuttings lying on the lawn – it’s too cold and damp to allow decomposition. Collect cuttings and add them to the compost heap or put them in your green waste bin if your council provides one.
A quick way to improve the appearance of your lawn is to redefine its edges using a half-moon edging tool. Compost the trimmings.
Last chance to prune apple and pear trees
You need to have pruned your apple and pear trees by the end of February. If you don’t, your harvest may not as be as good because older branches won’t bear as much fruit as newer, fresh, healthy branches.
This pruning is only for open apple trees though, not espaliers, cordons or fan-trained apples (you should prune these in July and August). When you're pruning, bear in mind that you want to let light and air into the branches and prune to form the tree into a goblet shape. See our apple pruning factsheet for more information.