What to plant and where to buy it
Planting in February is all about planning ahead. If you’re looking to add sweet peas to your garden, for example, then you need to prepare the soil with bonemeal and compost the trenches, as well as ensuring that the soil is well-drained and fertile. As always, your local garden centre or nursery is the best place to go for advice on what, when and how to plant – and for the best bulbs and seedlings.
You can think a little further ahead to winter, but don’t forget that the late summer and autumn are wonderful opportunities to create stunning displays of blooms in your garden with late summer perennials and biennials such as foxgloves, salvias, alyssum and lobelias. Then of course there are asters, campanulas, cornflowers, nasturtiums, petunias, phlox and portulacas – your choices are almost limitless, so let your imagination run wild!
If you have somewhere cool, dark and dry to store them, you can start getting your bulbs in now. March is probably the best time to plant anemones and ranunculus, but there’s nothing wrong with buying the bulbs in advance.
Some other bulbs can be planted now, helping you to stagger your workload and contributing to a longer combined flowering season in your garden. February is definitely the right time to be planting gladiolus, lachenalia, veltheimia and amaryllis bulbs.
If the thought of another South African winter makes you feel a little blue, then why not give yourself something to look forward to in the colder months? By planting winter veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, cabbage and Brussel sprouts now, you can ensure a bumper crop of green, leafy and delicious vegetables that will go perfectly in thick, heart-warming soups and stews.
Most of all, enjoy your time in the garden! If you have young children or grandchildren, get them involved in helping with easy gardening chores. It’s a wonderful way to spark their interest in gardening.