Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Monty Don's damage-control tips to make your garden 'come alive' in February

The Gardeners' World presenter is embracing the new month

Monty Don at Chelsea Flower Show, London, United Kingdom - 21 May 2018
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
Share this:

If there's anyone who can encourage us to embrace a new month, it's Monty Don. The Gardeners' World presenter has shared his top tips on getting the most out of your outdoor space and making your garden "come alive" now that the long and dark weeks of January are behind us.

The broadcaster regularly updates his blog with his thoughts on what jobs we should be doing in our gardens for February and admitted that while many see the second month of the year as a "low point", he welcomes it with open arms.

"February is the month when the garden really starts to come alive and grow even if the weather can be severe and the days are still short. In February something is definitely happening. There is a thrill in the air," he wrote.

As for garden jobs this month, Monty insists there are a few to prioritise...

Monty Don filming at Gardeners World Live
BBC Good Food Show Summer and Gardeners World Live, Birmingham, UK - 14 Jun 2018© Graham Stone/Shutterstock
Monty Don filming Gardeners' World

Mulch soil in flower borders

Monty says this job is simple but important. "All you have to do is spread a layer of organic material over bare soil." The broadcaster says this will suppress weeds, reduce evaporation, lock in moisture and improve the structure of the soil ready for planting.

The TV presenter also says the best material to use is home-made compost which is rich in the bacteria that plants need, adding: "Whatever you use it is important to spread it thick enough - no less than 2 inches deep and twice that if you have enough material.

"It is better to do half the garden properly than all of it with too thin a layer of mulch."

Sow crops

Monty says he will be cracking on with plenty of sowing this month. The broadcaster will sow seeds for tomatoes in two batches, as well as chilies, broad beans and rocket – perfect for salads in the upcoming warmer months.

"Chilies need a long growing season, so sowing them early in the year gives them a chance of a strong plant developing," he says. "Sprinkle the seed thinly in a general purpose compost either in seed trays or pots and put them in a warm place - ideally on a heated mat or in a propagator as they need at least 20 degrees to germinate.

"Once they have germinated give them as much light as possible. A greenhouse helps but a windowsill will do."

Monty Don in his Longmeadow garden on Gardeners' World© BBC
Monty Don is encouraging us to embrace February

Repair damage from winter

First things first, repairing damage from the colder months, Monty advises, is a good place to start. The broadcaster stressed the importance of making sure that logistical aspects of your garden including the ties, wires and supports are secured and in place ready for the impending spring.

MORE: Monty Don's 'horrid' rental farmhouse where rats threatened to attack his son 

MORE: Monty Don credits wife Sarah for saving 'troubled' star from life in prison 

Monty Don shares his advice for gardening in February
View post on Instagram

"Any that are damaged or a bit ropey should be repaired  or replaced now before they need to be used and before new growth begins that might be damaged by such repair work or even your heavy footwork in a border."

Meanwhile, Monty, 68, previously shared his frustration over the harsh winter wreaking havoc on his garden and the surrounding land which had flooded.

Monty Don's summer house© Instagram
Monty Don's garden at his Herefordshire

"It has barely stopped raining for the past three months and as I write this the fields as far as the eye can see are underwater as is sections of the garden," he wrote in January, before explaining the trouble this causes in his garden. 

"Mostly all this rain just means mud, slippery paths and the frustration of not being able to get on with much work in the garden without making a terrible mess."

More Homes

See more