Jobs for the yard in February

If there’s one thing I love about this time of the year … and it’s definitely not the humidity and rain … it’s when the Ivory Curl Trees (Buckhinghamia celsissima) start flowering across the district. They never fail to produce masses of long creamy lambs tail-like flowers which the bees just love. If you don’t have one in your garden, you won’t regret planting one or two. They are small to medium sized trees, with dense evergreen foliage. They can be pruned to keep them smaller or let grow as a small shady tree.
• Once the sweet corn has
finished, start to prepare
it for peas and snow pea crops, by digging in some garden lime to raise the pH level in preparation for March/April planting. Chop up the old sweet corn plants and dig them back into the garden as organic matter. A mower with a catcher does a good job of this if you don’t have a mulcher.
• Prepare bulb beds and beds for spring-flowering annuals with deep digging, addition of organic matter and mulching. Start looking in books or on the internet for different spring flowering bulbs you might like to order this month and plant in autumn.
• Citrus trees are heavy feeders and need fertilising now, especially after all this rain. Use a specific citrus fertiliser and apply at the rate on the bag.
• Tidy up the strawberry beds. Remove any dead or diseased plants, weed and give them a fertilise. Keep them well watered so they will produce runners for next season.
• Fertilise your Camellia sasanqua bushes as the buds appear. Use a special camellia and azalea fertiliser to maintain slightly acidic soil.
• Remove the spent flowering stems of agapanthus. You can collect the seed and grow them yourself if you wish.
• Take softwood cuttings of geraniums and pelargonium so that you can strike them and create new plants.
• Sow broccoli and cabbage seeds now and raise them for planting in March and April.
• It’s important to keep up regular watering of citrus while they are flowering and developing small fruits.
• Remove any scale from indoor plants using soapy water and a soft toothbrush.
• Start a winter vegetable garden bed from scratch by layering sugarcane mulch, mushroom compost and manure to a depth of 70cm. Keep moist and allow it all to decompose. By March it will be a luscious organic soil ready for planting.