Your Kent garden in February

PUBLISHED: 21:31 16 January 2011 | UPDATED: 20:41 20 February 2013

Your Kent garden in February

Your Kent garden in February

Top tips on how to make the most of your garden this month

Your garden in February

Plant of the month

Hellebore (pictured)

  • a winter favourite

  • perennial grown for stunning flowers in shades of green, pink, purple, black, white and cream

  • single and double flowers, some scented

Growing notes

  • easy to grow

  • hardy

  • wide range soils prefer neutral to alkaline

  • sun or shade

  • grow in groups, mixed borders or woodland setting

  • as usually the flowers face downwards, try growing them where you can see their faces, such as on raised areas

  • remove some of the leaves before flowering to see the showy flowers better

  • cut some flowers to float inside to fully enjoy their beauty

  • self-seed or divide spring or late summer

Ornamental tasks

  • brush away snow from plants and cold frames to avoid damage

  • put cloches over tender plants to protect them

  • cut back deciduous grasses that have been left for winter display

  • plant up some lily bulbs for a summer display

  • hardy annuals can be sown in containers

To taste

  • start chitting early potatoes

  • sow vegetable seeds under cloches for early crops

  • sow greenhouse cucumber and tomatoes

  • cultivate and warm up beds

  • prune autumn raspberries and mulch

Something extra

Plan some companion planting amongst your vegetables to attract beneficial insects. For example marigolds beneath tomatoes and nasturtiums beside brassicas. Strong smelling sage, leeks and garlic deter carrot fly and aphids. Hoverflies, a natural predator of aphids, are attracted by flowering annuals such as dill or coriander. Beneficial insects, such as ground beetles, ladybirds, hoverflies and lacewings are attracted to nectar-rich flowers. You could grow edible marigolds, thyme and flowering fennel. Also try nigella, sweet peas and cornflowers with the added benefit that they make lovely cut flowers as well.

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