In The Fruit Garden This February

Prune blackcurrant bushes, gooseberries and redcurrants to maintain a productive framework.

Protect blossoms on apricots, nectarines and peaches from frost, but make sure pollinating insects can still reach flowers.

Mulch fruit trees with well-rotted manure or garden compost, taking care not to mound mulch up around the trunk.

Winter prune apple trees and pear trees while they’re still dormant. This is your last chance to do so.

Leave plum trees, cherry trees and apricots until the summer as pruning these fruit tree now will make them susceptible to silver leaf disease.

Force rhubarb plants for an early crop.

Top dress fruit bushes with a slow-release, potassium-rich fertiliser to feed plants for the forthcoming season.

Check stored fruit and remove any rotten fruit.

Cover outdoor strawberries with cloches to encourage an earlier crop.

Top Tip:

Prune raspberry canes. It’s your last chance to cut autumn-fruiting raspberry canes to the ground to stimlute new canes to fruit in the autumn. Cut the tips of summer-fruiting raspberry canes that have grown beyond the top of their supports, cut just above a bud.

This Month's Key Tips
  • Prepare vegetable seed beds and sow some vegetables under cover.
  • Net fruit and vegetable crops to keep birds away.
  • Prune winter-flowering shrubs if they have finished flowering.
  • Prune wisteria and hardy evergreen hedges.
  • Cut back deciduous grasses left uncut over winter.