Feb Garden Calendar NZ

February garden calendar NZ.

February is often hot and dry in most districts. The flower beds are typically full of a glorious profusion of colour including marigolds, petunia, zinnia and salvia. Many fruits have been harvested but a lot is nearing ripening. It can be an ongoing battle with local birds feasting on nearly ripe fruit. You should have your watering system sorted out and in use regularly when the soil is dry.

Tasks For February garden calendar NZ

General

Watering
The main problem you need to solve is how to keep the soil moist, to minimise plants dying through dehydration. Mulches are useful to conserve soil moisture. In most cases you have to water regularly.s This can be hand held watering but it’s time consuming, so an a sprinkler system is the most efficient. Using a timer is advisable to accurately control the duration of watering. Watering in the evening allows the water to soak in overnight, maximising soil penetration. Watering during the heat of the day will maximise the loss of water to evaporation. It’s a good idea to get a trowel and dig in to the soil before watering and then after just to check how deep the moisture level is. Alternatively there are moisture measuring probes available at good hardware stores.
It’s worth considering installing an automatic watering system, with a timer that turns on and off at predetermined times. This means there’s one less chore to remember to do. Simple watering systems can be installed by amateurs, but most of the handyman systems I’ve seen have been a waste of time and money, because there not done properly.
I am available to install irrigation systems on Aucklands’ North Shore. You can use the contact page to contact me.
Weeding – It’s a good opportunity to get on top of any weeding. Many weeds can be killed easily and quickly with a hoe, by chopping them off just below the soil level.
If it’s getting too much for you to do you can consider getting professional help from a landscaper
With property values the way they are, it’s a good investment to maintain and improve your property.
Ants – Can be a problem especially in Northern districts. You need to be careful with food products containing sugar such as soft drink containers and jam etc. There are ant bait products available in supermarkets and hardware stores that can be placed near where you see the ant trails. They generally work by attracting the ants en mass, so it can appear to be worse until they take the bait back to the nest and have a mass effect. It’s worth considering putting the baits under the building where practical to stop them before they invade the building.

Food Gardening

Vegetables –

Harvest your crops regularly to get the produce at it’s best stage.
Keep planting a succession of vegetables so you have a continuous supply at a rate that suits your consumption. When sowing or planting seeds or seedlings imagine the size or the mature plant and allow that much space between each plant.
Slug and snail – They don’t like dry conditions, so they are usually less of a problem now. But when you plant and water seedlings you may still need control measures.
Regular hoeing will make it easier to kill weeds while they’re small.
Remove any plants that are bolting to seed, unless you’re wanting to collect your own seed, for future planting. Bearing in mind not all plant varieties come true from seed so seedling may differ from the parents.
Only use dry fertilisers if there are sufficient soil moisture levels, because some fertilisers can burn plants when applied in dry conditions. Otherwise add water soluble fertilisers with watering. Use a little and often is the general rule with fertilisers. I generally prefer organic fertilisers such as animal manures that increase earth worm populations and healthy soil micro organisms. Keep an eye out for tree roots in your vege garden if you have trees nearby as they compete for water and nutrients. So chop them off when you see them.

Veges to plant or sow –

Dwarf Beans, beetroot, brocoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chicory, cress, cucumber, endive, kohl rabi, leeks, lettuce, mustard, onions, parsnip, radish, salsify, silver beet, spring onions, swedes, turnip.

Herbs –

Continue harvesting for fresh use. If your herbs are going to seed consider either sowing the seed or storing it for future sowing. Herbs can also be dried on trays in a sheltered sunny location for a few weeks, with occasional turning. Then store them in an air tight container for future use.

Fruit Trees

Pip and Stone Fruit –

Many varieties of plum, peach and nectarine are maturing now. Try to protect your fruit from the birds with netting if practical. Some people hang large cut out black predator bird shapes in their trees to frighten bids away from fruit with limited effect. Otherwise banging noises will frighten birds away temporarily. Although it is nice to have your birds not frightened of you, there is a price in lost fruit.
If you’ve started a spray program you will need to keep spraying regularly as the weather permits for it to be effective. But be careful to read the label about the withholding period. That is the period recommended to lapse before harvesting produce, because many sprays are toxic to humans!
Citrus –
You should be able to see the next seasons crop forming. Give the trees an application of fertiliser and keep the soils moist.
Feijoa – You should be able to see young fruit forming. Give the tree some fertiliser and keep the soil moist. Luckily Fejoas can produce good fruit without needing to be sprayed.
Berry fruits – Most of your fruit will have ripened by now. Once the harvest is over prune out the old wood and tie the new growth to a support. Keep the soil moist.
Raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries, and loganberries – The main harvest is over, so prune out old wood and tie new growth to a support, and fertilise. Keep the soil moist.
Strawberries – The main harvest is over. Remove old weak looking plants and leave the new runners if you want to have another crop next year. Keep a continuous supply of water and fertiliser available in the soil.

Green Houses/Glass houses –

Daily watering will be needed for vegetables. Good ventilation is also important, to avoid overheating and too much humidity. Shading may need to be considered for sunny positions. Tie up climbing plants, such as tomatoes and cucumbers to a support system. Continue controlling any snails and slugs. Remove any bolting plants and decaying matter and weeds. Also ensure a continuous supply of water and nutrients. Keep a planting a succession of seedlings as space becomes available.

Pot and Container Grown Plants

Watering may be required daily and including some diluted liquid fertiliser is beneficial to most plants. Move indoor plants away from direct sunlight that can get intensified through the glass and cause leaf burning where you end up with brown dead patches on the leaves. If your plant becomes too dry, sometimes first aid of submerging the whole pot into a bucket of water filled to the height of the soil in the pot, for half an hour will revive them.
Repot plants that have finished flowering in to frsh potting mix and a slightly larger pot.
Control any insect or diseases. If you find mealy bugs on the roots, you can submerge the pot into a solution of pesticide to kill them. Remove dead leaves and dust with a damp cloth or spray.

February garden calendar NZ for the Ornamental Garden

Dead heading

There’s a lot of dead heads ( flower heads with no petals ), that need to be removed to encourage the production of more flowers. If these dead heads are left the plant will put it’s energy into producing seeds. Unless you want seeds it’s best to remove dead heads. The quickest and simplest method is to twist them off with your fingers, but the best way is to use secateurs and cut back to the next growth bud. If you want to collect your own seeds, wait till the seed heads go brown then pick them and dry them, then crush the head to release the seeds and store them in a paper bag in a dry location until ready to sow.

Roses

Remove any dead flower heads unless it’s a once only flowering rose and you want the hips for decoration or jam. If you’ve started a spray program it’s best to continue spraying regularly as the weather permits.
Check the soil remains moist, and water as needed to get more flowers.
Remove weeds, while they’re small.
Sow seeds of: ageratum, alyssum, aquilegia, arctotis, bellis, calceolaria, canytuft, calendula, Canterbury Bells, cineraria, cornflower, cyclmen, delphinium, dianthus, everlasting daisy, forget-me-not, galardia, godetia, gypsophila, holyhock, honesty, impatiens, larkspur, linaria, livingston daisy, lobelia, lupin, french marigold, mignoette, nasturtium, nemisia, nemophila, nigella, pansy, polyanthus, poor mans orchid, iceland poppy, primula, scabosia, snap dragon, spider flower, statice, stock, strawflower, sweet pea, verbena, viola, Virginian stock, wallflower.
Plant seedlings of: ageratum, alyssum, aquilegia, arctotis, bellis, calceolaria, canytuft, calendula, Canterbury Bells, cineraria, cornflower, cyclmen, delphinium, dianthus, everlasting daisy, forget-me-not, galardia, godetia, gypsophila, holyhock, honesty, impatiens, larkspur, linaria, livingston daisy, lobelia, lupin, french marigold, mignoette, nasturtium, nemisia, nemophila, nigella, pansy, polyanthus, poor mans orchid, iceland poppy, primula, scabosia, snap dragon, spider flower, statice, stock, strawflower, sweet pea, verbena, viola, Virginian stock, wallflower.

Trees and Shrubs jobs for February garden calendar NZ

Your hedges may need trimming after the spring growth depending on the look of them.

Lawn jobs for February garden calendar NZ.

Mow regularly at least fortnightly, and don’t cut too low. The grass should be between 20 to 25 mm after you’ve cut it. It’s a good time now to control lawn weeds now before they get a chance to spread. You can either spot spray or brush on herbicide or digging them out.

Compost jobs for February garden calendar NZ

Turn your compost heaps so organic matter gets evenly decomposed. Continue building heaps and when they consist of predominantly unrecognisable matter they are ready to be spread around bare soil as a mulch, or dug into the soil.
Make new compost heaps by incorporating dead leaves, grass clippings, vegetable scraps with a sprinkling of lime and animal manure etc.

garden calendar nz

Two pineapples growing in an Auckland glasshouse. The plant was a cutting grown from the top of a pineapple fruit.

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Happy Gardening for February garden calendar NZ.