February in the Garden

Being one of the hottest months of the year, February is one of the main harvest periods and it’s all about reaping the rewards of what you have sown and planted.

It's important to keep an eye on watering at this time and keep the soil moist to prevent plants from wilting. When plants get water-stressed, they become susceptible to pests and diseases. A healthy plant is much more likely to stay that way if it's well watered.

Many summer crops will be harvested and pulled out of the ground now. While the garden is empty, take time to replenish the soil with a new layer of compost or Tui Super Sheep Pellets.

In the vegetable garden

  • Add thick layers of compost or Tui Pea Straw Mulch to vegetable beds to conserve water, reduce weeds and add valuable nutrients to the soil.
  • Harvest beans, beetroot, capsicums, carrots, chillies, courgettes, cucumbers, eggplants, garlic, lettuce, onions, peas, potatoes, shallots, sweetcorn, tomatoes.
  • Sweetcorn: protect plants from strong winds by staking them.
  • Potatoes: keep mounding up rows of potatoes to ensure a bigger harvest. When watering potatoes, water the soil and not the leaves.
  • Tomatoes: remove the lower leaves of plants to allow more light to ripen the lower trusses of fruit. Immediately remove any diseased leaves or fruit that may appear, to limit the spread of the problem.
  • Plant beetroot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflowers, courgettes, kale, lettuces, peas, silver beet, spinach, coriander, parsley, rosemary, thyme.
  • Sow beetroot, carrots, celery, kale, leeks, mesclun, radishes, rocket, spinach, silverbeet, coriander, parsley.
  • Feed established plants once a month with Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic. Fertilise with Tui Vegetable Food.

In the fruit garden

  • Summer is the time when the fruit is forming and fruits need adequate water to form fruit successfully.
  • Pick passionfruit, strawberries, loganberries, raspberries, apricots, peaches, plums, apples.
  • Apply a side dressing of Tui Strawberry Food to give plants a energy boost for autumn harvest.
  • Birds can be a real problem eating fruits as they ripen, cover with netting where possible.
  • Taller growing berries such as boysenberries, blackberries and other scrambling berries will require staking.
  • Remove excess apples from apple trees as in some cases apples produce too much fruit and if left on the tree will limit the size and quality of ripening fruit.
  • Once nectarines, peaches and plums have finished fruiting, prune to shape and to remove any dead or diseased branches.

In the flower garden

  • Only plant in the morning or evenings as it is less stressful for the plants, and keep garden beds well watered.
  • Bulbs will appear stores this month, they are best planted once autumn rains arrive and the soil cools down.
  • Pick roses, hydrangeas, carnations, delphiniums, lilies, gladiolus, sweet peas, cosmos, agapanthus, sunflowers, geraniums.
  • Hang flowers for drying: pick long stems, remove lower leaves, bundle together and hang upside down somewhere out of direct sunlight for a few weeks to dry.
  • Sow calendula, polyanthus, violas, primula, pansies, snapdragons, flowering kale, poppies, wildflowers, bellis, dianthus.
  • Plant fuchsia, petunias, impatiens, dahlias, echinacea, verbena, alyssum, cosmos, gazania, marigolds, wallflower.
  • Apply Tui Bulb Food to existing planted blubs, in particular Christmas lilies and Gladiolus to ensure best flowering.
  • Sweet peas – keep providing support for the vines to climb up, more vines mean more flowers.
  • Feed roses with Debco Rose Compost and fertilise with Tui Rose Food to give the last blooms of the season a boost.

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