Be aware that freezing spells (this month or the preceding winter months) may have made ground water unavailable to plant roots.
Plants could be on the dry side, despite the winter weather. Warm water makes effective irrigation in freezing conditions, especially for pots and containers. But only do this where absolutely necessary (e.g. for autumn-planted evergreens that are struggling to establish).
Average sunshine levels across the UK for this month on a region-by-region basis are:
71 hours in southeast and south-central England,
66 hours in southwest England,
65 hours in Wales,
64 hours in East Anglia,
61 hours in the Midlands,
62 hours in Northern Ireland,
59 hours in northern England and southern Scotland,
51 hours in northern Scotland.
Light levels are on the rise again. In mild areas it is possible to start vegetable and flower seedlings off under cover, for planting out in March.
Bulbs are appearing, and wildlife is responding to the seasonal flux.
Houseplants still need to be kept in the sunniest position available - they can be moved later in the spring to their shadier summer positions.
Although not as cold as January, there is still a risk of frost everywhere in February. Do make sure your winter protections for the garden, for the greenhouse and for tender plants, are still securely in place.
Don’t forget that wet and windy weather can worsen conditions for gardening, and make already low temperatures feel colder than they actually are.
February can still be a useful month (in mild areas) for starting seedlings under cover and preparing the ground for spring. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to sow and plant. Seeds started off later, when the soil is warmer, will catch up and overtake those sown too early.
Gales and gustiness are frequent in February. Plants can suffer from ‘wind rock’ at the roots, which affects their health and vigour the following spring. Stakes, ties, fleece wraps, cloches, supports and wayward branches all need regular checking.