February is the last month of summer, with hot days and strong winds, along with the occasional cyclone up north. During this month there are also cool changes with rain and thunderstorms. It’s still a fairly dry time of the year in Victoria, quite hot and dry in South Australia. Weather is hot and humid in NSW, and rain falls for around half the month. In Darwin it’s the wet season. 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 (Arid Climate)
|February Seeds to Sow and Seedlings to Plant|
(Temperate Climate Australia)
|Beans (Dwarf, Bush)||dt||7-10|
|Choko||plant shooting mature fruit||17|
|NZ Spinach (Warrigal Greens)||dt||8-10|
|Rhubarb||plant crowns||12 months|
|Silverbeet (Swiss Chard)||dst||7-12|
|Zucchini (Courgette, Marrow)||dst||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 Arid 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.