Gardening UK: Lilies, berries, potatoes, basil & more – what you can plant in February

Monty Don opens up about his love for gardening

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Despite temperatures remaining cold and the ground frozen over across some parts of the UK, Britons can still get out in the garden do some planting before spring. Some vegetables, fruit trees and even flowers can all be planted in February. Gardening expert Heather Barrigan from MyJobQuote.co.uk has outlined what you should plant in February to have a blooming spring.

Lilies

Lilies can often be found in flower bouquets at the supermarket but what if you want your own?

Ms Barrigan said lilies are hardy enough to survive outdoors in cooler weather and can even flower in winter conditions.

However, she warned fellow gardeners not to over-water them.

She said: “It may be necessary to wrap the containers with bubble wrap in extreme conditions to protect against frost until spring.”

Potatoes

Potatoes can be used in a plethora of stews and dishes throughout the year.

If you want to use your own potatoes at Christmas time, now is the perfect time to start “chitting” your potatoes.

Chitting is encouraging the seed potatoes to sprout before they’re planted which can be done on a windowsill indoors.

Ms Barrigan said it takes around one to two weeks but the best way to do it is by putting seed potatoes in an egg carton in a light, cool place.

After they sprout, they’re ready for the ground outside.

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Basil

Basil and other herbs can easily grow on a window sill throughout the year.

Basil should be put in well-drained, nutrient-rich soil and put in a sheltered position out of direct sunlight, according to Ms Barrigan.

You should avoid rotting and put the plant in a place where it will be exposed to an airflow.

Other herbs like parsley and coriander grow in the same way.

Cabbage and cauliflower

These veggies are perfect for growing in winter as they prefer cooler conditions.

The gardening expert said gardeners should watch out for the young leaves being exposed to frost, otherwise they could wither.

Good drainage is also critical with ice often damaging the roots.

Growing them in containers might also be better than growing them in pots.

Berries

If the soil isn’t wet or waterlogged, then you can easily grow a variety of berries in the winter months.

Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries can all be grown now.

Berries also don’t tend to get seriously damaged by first but new growth can be hindered by winter conditions so pruning damaged parts of the plant is essential.

Ms Barrigan recommends choosing a cultivar that blooms later in spring.

Stone fruit trees

You may have noticed some supermarkets selling fruit trees already, and that’s because the “best time” to plant stone fruit is in winter, according to Ms Barrigan.

This means fruits such as apricots, peaches and nectarines will grow anywhere between late November- early March before they bloom in late spring.

The gardening expert said these fruits are also self-pollinating which means you only need one tree.

Peas

In the winter months, it’s best to put pea sticks either side of the row to keep them away from soil.

However, these plants can be grown in any spare guttering with drainage holes drilled in the bottom.

When they start to flower, water them and then repeat two weeks after that.

To stop the soil drying out, spread a later of mulch on top.

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