February is the last month of summer, and it’s still a fairly dry time of the year in Melbourne, quite hot and dry in South Australia, and the hottest month in Perth. It’s hot and humid in Sydney and Brisbane, and rain falls for around half the month. There can be strong winds along with the heat, so water deeply and less often during dry periods to encourage roots to grow down, making plants less vulnerable to heat and drought.
Take advantage of the hot dry weather to do weeding and lay the weeds on top of the soil to dry out and become mulch but remove and dispose of the seeding parts first.
Things to Do This Month:
- Summer pruning of fruit trees, cut new green growth by half to maintain size.
- Feed citrus trees and top up mulch (use compost or old manure) over roots, keeping clear of trunk.
- Cut and dry herbs for winter use.
- Collect ripening seeds for plants you wish to propagate.
- Divide perennials towards the end of the month, or if in drought, leave till March.
- Sow cool season green manure crops, such as Broad Beans, Fenugreek, Linseed, Lupins, Mustard, Oats and Vetch, then dug in during autumn before flowering.
- Last chance to sow warm season green manure crops, such as Buckwheat, Cowpea, Japanese Millet, Mung Bean, Mustard, Soybean.
- Prune summer fruiting raspberries – after fruit is picked, cut out old canes and tie new canes (that have grown this year) to supports.
- Keep an eye on water gardens and ponds, water levels can get low due to evaporation. Aquatic plants can become overgrown and require thinning at this time of year.
- Propagation of semi-hardwood (semi-ripe) cuttings is done in mid-late summer, use rooting hormone, and plant in moist commercial propagation mix, or make your own with one-part coarse propagating sand (washed river sand) and one part peat or coconut coir.
Vegetables and Herbs to Grow in February (Temperate Climate)
|February Seeds to Sow and Seedlings to Plant (Temperate Climate Australia)||Sow/Plant||Harvest (weeks)|
|Beans (Dwarf, Bush)||dst||7-10|
|Horseradish||plant root pieces||16-24|
|NZ Spinach (Warrigal Greens)||dst||8-10|
|Silverbeet (Swiss Chard)||dst||7-12|
|Spring Onions (Bunching Onions)||st||6-10|
|Zucchini (Courgette, Marrow)||t||6-9|
d = sow seeds directly into ground
s = sow seeds into seed tray
ds = sow seeds directly into ground or seed tray
t = transplant seedlings (small plants) into larger pots or plant into ground
*= frost tender
**= sow after frost
Download printable PDF version of Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – February
To help improve these garden calendars, feedback and additional information from readers is greatly appreciated! Australia’s climate varies considerably, and local knowledge of when particular things need to be done in the garden are most helpful to others living in those area, so please feel free to share.