Jobs for the yard in February

with Brownie
  • CITRUS trees are heavy feeders and need fertilising now. Use a specific citrus fertiliser and apply at the rate on the bag.
  • Citrus leaf miner causes ugly distorted leaves with silvery trails in the leaf tissue. Meyer lemons are particularly susceptible. Pest oil (or white oil) is a non-toxic control. Spray when new growth is about 1cm long and reapply every 2-3 weeks. February is a crucial time to spray.
  • Tidy up the strawberry beds. Remove any dead or diseased plants, weed and give them a fertilise. Keep them well watered so they produce runners for next season.
  • Fertilise your Camellia sasanqua bushes as the buds appear. Use a special camellia and azalea fertiliser.
  • Remove spent flowering stems of agapanthus. You can collect the seeds and grow them yourself.
  • Prepare bulb beds and beds for spring-flowering annuals with deep digging, adding 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.
  • Once the sweet corn has finished, start to prepare the ground for peas and snow pea crops by digging in 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 if you don’t have a mulcher.
  • Take softwood cuttings of geraniums and pelargonium so you can strike them and create new plants.
  • Sew 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 scale from indoor plants using soapy water and a soft toothbrush.
  • To treat lawn grubs, try sprinkling the area with a little laundry powder, then water it in. The grubs will come to the surface and the birds will feast on them.
  • Trim back wayward shoots of wisteria to keep it under control.
  • Keep dead-heading roses and lightly prune to prolong the late summer flush.
  • Maintain fruit fly traps and destroy spoiled fruit. Always destroy fruit fly-infected fruit by placing the lot in boiling hot water to kill the maggots before putting in your compost.
  • In a heavy downpour, put a raincoat on and check the drainage in your garden. See what areas need changes to ensure good drainage so plants don’t become waterlogged in extended rainy periods.
  • If you haven’t done so, prune your poinsettias (including snowflake) to promote new growth for the next flowering.
  • Pick your beans on a regular basis – even the ones that are old or insect damaged. Regular picking stimulates the plant to keep producing instead of dying back.

Plant eggplant, capsicum, radish, cucumber, lettuce, sweet corn, beetroot, zucchini, leek, silverbeet, parsnip, potato, rhubarb, turnip, choko, pumpkin, snake beans, carrot, celery, melons, spring onion, squash and sweet potato.

Plant zinnia, marigold, columbine, linaria, vinca, alyssum, cosmos, petunia, portulaca, salvia, cyclamen, polyanthus, primula, scabiosa, cleome, strawflower, wallflower, begonia, ageratum, lobelia, nigella, viola, celosia, gomphrena, nasturtium, pansy, Iceland poppy, verbena, calendula, snapdragon, cornflower, chrysanthemum, cockscomb, coleus and torenia.