Estates Manager blog: February 2024

9 February, 2024

As February unfolds, subtle signs of spring are appearing all over gardens and green spaces, giving promise of the brighter and warmer weather to come. While the garden may appear to be in a state of hibernation, this is a crucial time for avid gardeners to prepare for the upcoming growing season. There are a number of activities and tasks that can be undertaken in the garden during February, ensuring a vibrant and flourishing space as spring approaches.

Soil Preparation:

One of the fundamental aspects of successful gardening is soil preparation. February provides an excellent opportunity to assess and improve the soil condition in your garden. Begin by clearing away any debris or fallen leaves that may have accumulated over the winter months. This not only enhances the aesthetics but also allows for better air circulation.

Once the surface is cleared, consider incorporating organic matter such as well-rotted manure or compost. This enriches the soil with essential nutrients and improves its structure, promoting healthy plant growth. Be sure to work the organic matter into the soil using a fork or spade, focusing on areas where you plan to sow seeds or plant new additions to your garden.


Planting and Sowing:

While the weather in February is usually chilly, it is an ideal time to start sowing seeds indoors. Vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, and early varieties of lettuce can be sown in trays or pots and placed on windowsills or in greenhouses. This gives them a head start, ensuring robust seedlings when it’s time to transplant them into the garden in the coming months.

For those who enjoy colourful blooms, consider starting the germination process for summer flowers like marigolds, petunias, and cosmos. By the time spring arrives, you’ll have strong, healthy seedlings ready to be planted outdoors.

Pruning and Maintenance:

February is also a suitable time for pruning various trees and shrubs in your garden. Deciduous trees that have shed their leaves provide an unobstructed view of their structure, making it easier to identify and remove any dead or damaged branches. This not only improves the overall appearance but also promotes healthier growth.

For fruit trees, such as apple and pear, late winter pruning is essential. Remove any crowded or crossing branches to enhance air circulation and sunlight exposure, this will encourage a bountiful harvest later in the year. Additionally, this is the time to prune grapevines, cutting back last year’s growth to encourage new shoots.



Tending to Your Lawn:

Your lawn may have experienced some wear and tear during the winter, but February presents an opportunity to revive it. Start by removing any debris and moss using a rake, allowing air and sunlight to reach the grass blades. If the weather permits, consider mowing the lawn on a dry day, setting the blades to a higher level to avoid scalping.

For areas with bald patches or sparse growth, over seeding is an effective remedy. Choose a high-quality grass seed suitable for your soil type and climate, and spread it evenly over the prepared areas. Water the seeded areas regularly to ensure germination and establishment.

Protecting Vulnerable Plants:

Late frosts can pose a threat to tender plants, so it’s crucial to take precautions to protect them. Covering vulnerable plants with hessian or horticultural fleece can provide insulation against frost, preserving their delicate foliage. Be sure to secure the covers in place to prevent them from being dislodged by strong winds.

If you have potted plants, consider moving them to sheltered areas or placing them closer to the house during particularly cold nights. This extra care ensures that your plants remain healthy and ready to thrive when warmer temperatures prevail.

Planning for the Year Ahead:

As you engage in the hands-on tasks of February gardening, it’s also a time for contemplation and planning. Review your garden layout and consider any changes or improvements you’d like to make. This could involve adding new features, such as a vegetable patch, a seating area, or additional flower beds.

Take stock of your gardening tools and equipment, ensuring they are in good condition. This is also an opportune moment to clean and sharpen your tools, readying them for the busy months ahead. Consider any new tools or accessories that may enhance your gardening experience, making a list for future purchase.

February may seem like a quiet month in the garden, but it is a pivotal time for laying the groundwork for the season ahead. From soil preparation to seed sowing, from pruning to lawn maintenance, each task contributes to the overall health and vibrancy of your garden. As you tend to your plants and plot out the year’s gardening endeavours, you are not only nurturing the physical space but also fostering a sense of connection with nature and the changing seasons. Embrace the rhythm of February gardening, and you will reap the rewards as your garden bursts into life with the arrival of spring.

What to see at Furzey Gardens this month

The recent mild weather has prompted many plants in our collection to start blooming several weeks ahead of schedule, so there may be a few surprises when you visit. It is the perfect month to enjoy lawned areas adorned with beautiful jewels in the form of crocus and snowdrops. Look out for Narcissus cyclamineus, a small daffodil with bright yellow flowers that have a long tube and swept back petals resembling cyclamen.

Hamamelis vernalis (Ozark witch hazel) and Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Pallida’ provide bursts of yellow with their distinctive spidery flowers, whilst their citrusy scent drifts across the garden on sunny winter days. Other late winter/early spring delights include several types of camellia and our winter flowering heather, Erica x darleyensis “Furzey”.

From 10 February we will be open seven days a week, 10am – 4pm and are excited to welcome visitors back for the year ahead. We have a range of events planned throughout the year, including our ‘Pot-tastic Art’ half term activity from 12 – 16 February. Children can decorate a plant pot and plant some sweet peas to take home with them. We are looking forward to seeing all the creative works of art and the joy that the activity brings. You can find out more about our events,

I hope to see you at Furzey Gardens soon.


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