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What to do in February

F E B R U A R Y

Annuals

Start preparing beds and containers for winter displays
Compost the area to a depth of 50 mm, add a balanced fertilizer e.g
2:3:2 at a rate of 60 g/m² (4 tablespoons). Dig in well and rake
level. Allow the weeds to germinate and then hoe them off.
Dead-head annuals which could last another 4 – 6 weeks to prolong
flowering. Feed with a fertilizer high in potassium e.g. 3:1:5.
Sow seeds of sweetpeas and primulas. Avoid overwatering once they
have germinated, as they are susceptible to root rot.
Seed collecting of perennials can also be done new.
Take cuttings of frost tender plants. Prune back regal and zonal
perlargoniums lightly.

Perennials

Hellebore plants flower late winter/early spring. Feed now with a
fertilizer high in potassium to promote flowering and water them on a
regular basis during winter.

Pests

Watch carefully for the black and yellow banded amaryllis borer
caterpillar. Attacking nerines, amaryllis and clivias. Dust the neck
of the bulbs with Karbadust.
Check hostas for snail infestation control by baiting with snailban
or sluggem. Or place a saucer in the soil filled with beer, leaving
it overnight. Collect the inebriated slugs and snails the following
morning and dispose of them.