Garden tasks for February 2015

FE15_GardenTasksFlower garden

  • Feed dahlias and chrysanthemums, and keep well staked and tied.
  • Lift early gladioli when foliage turns yellow, and start planting spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils, freesias, anemones, ranunculus, sparaxis, ixias, grape hyacinths, tritonia and lachenalia.
  • Water your roses by thoroughly soaking once a week, and if necessary spray for mildew.
  • Dead head perennials, flowering annuals and roses as flowers finish.
  • Prepare autumn flower beds prior to planting by digging in compost and a general garden fertiliser.
  • Sow seeds of wallflower, bellis, candytuft, godetia, arcotis, delphinium, honesty, larkspur, snapdragon, pansy, lupin, nigelia, nemesia, polyanthus, stock, alyssum, scabiosa, linaria, aquilega and lobelia.
  • Plant out annuals in the garden and in containers: alyssum, viola, sweet pea, lupin, cornflower, linaria, primula, stock and wallflower.

Fruit and vegetable garden

  • FE15_cabbage-babiesThis is the time to plant your winter garden — plant seedlings of cabbage, cauliflower, leeks, silver beet, brussel sprouts, celery and spinach.
  • To get veggies for late autumn and winter crops off to an excellent start, feed the soil at planting time with compost or use it as mulch in early autumn.
  • Lift and dry shallots, onions and early crops of potatoes, and start to earth up early-planted celery.
  • Keep your summer salad supply going and plant lettuce seedlings as you harvest.
  • Sweet corn, tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, courgettes, garlic, early carrots, peas and beans are all ready for harvest – pick sweet corn when the tassels have begun to dry, and harvest cucumber and courgettes as they come ready (pretty much every day), to encourage steady fruiting.
  • Powdery mildew on cucumbers and pumpkins can be controlled by spraying with Yates Nature’s Way fungus spray.
  • Use Derris Dust to prevent white butterfly caterpillars on cabbages and cauliflowers.
  • Sow seeds of beetroot, parsnip, swedes, spring onion, cabbage, broccoli, celery, leeks, cress, carrots, spinach, radish, kohl rabi, Brussels sprouts and silver beet.
  • Prepare ground for strawberry planting, and watch out for mildew on apples and botrytis on grapes.
  • Prune stone fruit immediately after harvest and cut out old canes of raspberries and similar fruit.
  • Your citrus trees will appreciate an application of fertiliser this month — sprinkle around the drip line and water in.
  • Trim away leaves covering grapes to expose fruit to ripen in the sun, and use bird netting to protect from birds.

Lawns

Autumn is the time for lawn maintenance, but continue to keep your lawn well watered and use Butlers Feed and Weed to control weeds in preparation for autumn re-sowing.

Second thoughts

This can be the hottest month and many insect pests will reach their most active phase — regular checking and watering will almost certainly be essential.