Leaves and general debris must never be allowed to accumulate on the surface of the lawn during the winter as it can smother or weaken the grass causing it to go yellow.
In mild districts worms can become active by the end of the month. Any casts should be swept away as soon as they appear to keep weeds down and prevent them being trodden into the lawn. Worms are a great help with drainage, so they should not be considered at pests.
Treat moss filled lawns with a proprietary moss killer, if the weather is settled, first raking up the worst patches with a lawn rake.
If you need to re-turf or sow bald patches, weed and fork them over first to break up the soil.
Scarify old lawns that have become thatchy, with a spring-tooth rake, to removing the dead or decaying vegetation at the base. Rake first in one direction and then at right angles.
In mild areas some lawns may need an occasional light mowing, to keep them neat and to prevent deterioration. However, the mower blades should be set to at least 4 cm (1.5 in) high, with the lawn just being 'topped' to keep it tidy and prevent the grass getting too long and matted.
Broken lawn edges can be repaired using a sharp spade or a half-moon edging-iron to cut the turf so that the broken edge can be turned into the lawn and a fresh, new edge left at the outside. Use sieved soil to fill up the hole where the turf was broken.
Snowdrops are always a welcome sight in early winter:
Other bulbs at their best if the weather is mild include the blue Iris histrioides major and the yellow Iris danfordiae which bloom just above the soil, and the hardy Iris unguicularis.
Several squills also open this month, including Scilla tubergeniana (white) and S. bifolia (blue).
Many varieties of crocuses will be in flower.
Other bulbous plants that may flower this month if the weather is warm include: Anemone blanda, Cyclamen coum, Eranthis (winter aconite). Species Narcissus and Leucojum vernum (snowflake).Next Page >> Managing Trees and Shrubs in February >>