February

February is the last month of summer and can be hot and dry - and it’s still busy in the garden!

In February, fruit, vegetable and flower harvests are still underway. With the warmer weather continuing, there is still a lot of weeding, watering and feeding to be done, especially in the vege garden. 

What to plant

Edible garden

  • Sow seeds in trays, such as cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, pak choi, leeks, parsley, silverbeet and Florence fennel.
  • Sow directly into the garden broad beans, carrots, beetroot and silverbeet.
  • Plant seedlings of leafy vegetables for a continual harvest right through to end of autumn. Lettuce and rocket, however, may need to be sown in a cooler area, as hot temperatures often reduce germination and can make them bolt (set seed prematurely).
  • Carefully remove laterals (side shoots) from tomatoes so that energy is concentrated into fruiting.
  • Regularly apply liquid fertiliser to tomatoes and other vegetables to prolong fruiting and encourage healthy growth.
  • Directly sow rocket, mizuna, pak choy and coriander into the garden.

Flower garden

  • Sow seeds in trays, such as pansies, violas, calendulas and dianthus. In the flower garden, you can directly sow alyssum, Californian poppy, cornflower, pansy, poppy, snapdragon, stock and Spencer sweet peas.
  • Now is the perfect time to plant spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils, jonquils, freesias, irises, lachenalias, Sparaxis, babianas and ixias.
  • Deadhead roses, annuals and perennials to stimulate new growth and extend the flowering period. Leave any that might have pretty seed heads in autumn or for the birds to enjoy, like sunflowers. If they are healthy specimens, you might like to save seed for next year.
  • Clip and shape bay, lavender and rosemary – add the prunings to your compost.

What to harvest

  • Harvest beans, tomatoes, capsicums, chillies, eggplants, courgettes, sweetcorn, salad vegetables, potatoes etc.
  • Jerusalem artichokes will also be ready to be dug up and roasted through autumn.
  • Fruit trees like plums, peaches and nectarines will be ready for picking.
  • Soft fruit like blackberries and blueberries may now be ready for picking.
  • Cut flowers of perennials such as asters, penstemon, dahlia, late lilies, daisies, gladioli, roses, hydrangeas, dianthus and sunflowers.

Shrubs & Perennials

  • Make sure that any late planted shrubs, perennials and roses are kept well-watered through drier periods to ensure they establish well and don’t get stressed.
  • Keep container plants well-watered.

Trees

  • Keep an eye on stakes and ties around trees to ensure they don’t start to rub or grow into the trunk.
  • Keep grass away from the base of trees, apply a good thick layer of mulch around the base to help with moisture retention and weed suppression.
  • Water newly planted trees in dry periods

Lawns

  • If a lawn has been sown or turf laid, it is important to make sure it is kept well-watered through the drier months.