Snowdrops, cyclamen and hellebores are just some of the flowers starting to brighten up our gardens this month.
With the extra time at home that lockdown gives us, it's wonderful to be able to escape into the garden or onto your balcony for some fresh air and exercise. The results of your work will pay you back for months to come.
Hardy veg, such as , spring onions and spinach, can be sown from mid-February onwards. Don't sow any earlier as the light levels and temperatures are too low and you won't get good results. It's best to sow indoors in module trays of a . Then plant out once they're large enough to handle. Some more tender veg that needs a long growing season, such as chillies, can also be sown now.
Perennials that return year after year, such as asters, echinacea and phlox, can all be cut back to ground level before they regrow from their base. To help the stems rot down quicker and make better compost, it's a good idea to put them through a before you put them in the compost bin.
You can buy seed potatoes in the garden centre or online. When they arrive, put them in a tray and leave them in a light, frost-free place, such as a windowsill. This will stop them producing long, fragile shoots which would snap off easily when you plant them. Potatoes are sensitive to frost so don't plant them before mid-March.
Birds will be nesting soon so it's a great time to put up some new nest boxes. If you already have one, take it down and clean out any old nesting material. Give it a scrub with boiling water and then put it back up. February is also an important time for feeding birds. in particular are great for supplying them with the energy they need.
Before the new mowing season kicks off in March, it's a great chance to clean off any grass clippings that are stuck to the bottom of your lawn mower or grass trimmer. It'll make them much easier and lighter to use as well as helping them to cut more efficiently. Try to clean off the clippings each time you cut in the coming season as it's much easier to do when they're fresh.