Jobs to do in February

Watch the weather

Top tips

As long as the ground isn't frozen, a key job for this month is to cultivate and prepare seedbeds. To warm them up before sowing, cover them with clear polythene, cloches or fleece.

How to test soil for texture and pH

5:49

Sowing and planting

Fruit


Vegetables

Pruning and training

Fruit

Problems

  • Slugs can pose a threat, and slug controls are necessary now, as always.

  • Place mouse controls near stored vegetables and any in the ground still.

  • Protect brassicas from pigeon damage.

  • Pick yellowing leaves off Brussels sprouts and other brassicas promptly, to prevent spread of grey mould and brassica downy mildew.

  • Remove all remaining plant debris from the vegetable plot.

  • Digging-over in winter exposes soil pests to frost and bird predators.

  • Clear the ground under trees and bushes of weeds.

  • Last chance to winter wash trees and bushes.

  • Remove any rotten stored fruit.

  • Check protection against peach leaf curl.

     

General care

Fruit

  • Protect almond, peach, apricot and nectarine blossom from frost, but make sure insects can access the flowers for pollination.

  • Untie festooned fruit tree branches that have set into position.

  • Harvest citrus fruit when ready.

  • Cover outdoor, soil-grown strawberries with cloches for an earlier crop.

  • Tip back summer-fruiting raspberry canes to 15cm (6in) above their top support wire.

  •  Apply a top dressing of sulphate of potash to all fruit if not done last month.

Vegetables

  • Cultivate and prepare seedbeds, covering them with clear polythene, cloches or fleece to warm up the soil before sowing.

  • Plan a crop rotation system for your vegetable plot.

  • Rake in lime if you have acid soil.

  • Prepare new asparagus beds.

  • Feed spring cabbages with high nitrogen feeds.

  • Dig over new beds, but try to avoid digging in wet weather.

Ready to harvest

Vegetables
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