February marks the beginning of Imbolc – The Celtic festival that marks the transition from winter to spring and is often marked by St Brigid’s Day on February the 1st.

Those of us who love cultivating gardens, growing our own food and nature can find great inspiration and delight in this time of year as we watch the days get longer, the skies brighter, and observe green shoots and blossoms emerging in every corner!

Let’s take inspiration from St. Brigid, originally a pagan goddess of fertility,  to inspire the start of our growing and gardening activities this month.

Gardening Tasks For the Irish Climate this February

1. Prepare your Soil – The Foundation of Growth

Goddess Brigid was associated with the awakening of the earth and the fertility of the land. It is a pertinent reminder that we should protect the fertility of our garden’s soil in more natural ways that don’t always depend on chemical fertilisers.

  • If you have been bagging old leaves for mulching or composting in the corner last autumn – now is a good time to put them to use, recycling them as mulch. Use it to protect the green shoots from frost as they emerge, reflecting the care for the Earth akin to Brigid’s nurturing aspect.
  • Use the organic composting method where you can -Use other organic materials like straw, leaves, and wood chips to insulate but gradually break down, adding nutrients and improving soil structure. Add it to your garden beds to protect the soil during frosty snaps. Why? Compost improves soil structure, adds essential nutrients, and increases the soil’s ability to retain moisture.
  • Encourage Biodiversity in your soil – protect your ground bugs and earthworms.

We have more tips on enhancing Soil Fertility in this little checklist we made: Ways To Enhance Plant Growth And Create A More Fertile Garden

2. Planting Seeds – Beginning Anew

Goddess Brigid was associated with the duality of Fire and Renewal. Fire associated with Brigid was an element that transforms, renews, and sparks new life.

Encourage new life with a round of seed planting to celebrate this new beginning. Start by germinating seeds indoors now for any flowers and vegetables

3. Watering to Protect and Heal Your Garden

  • Proper watering techniques during winter can have a protective effect on the soil. Moist soil can hold heat better than dry soil, offering some protection against frost. However, avoid overwatering, as waterlogged soil can harm plant roots and soil structure.
  • Even though Spring has officially begun, February could also host some cold, frosty snaps and snow.
  • Collect rainwater by investing in a water butt that will help you collect rainwater for use around your garden, yard or allotment. It is a sustainable practice that embodies the respect for natural resources that Brigid inspires.

4. Pruning – Encouraging Growth

Sometimes cutting back can also encourage new life – this chimes with Brigid’s dichotomy of Fire and Water, dark and light. 

  • The act of pruning can be transformative. Removing the old to make way for the new will enhance the growth rate as the temperatures rise. Pruning conserves plant energy and redirects energy to new shoots instead of dead branches. It allows the sunlight to warm the essential plant stems.
  • Prune by making a clean cut at a 45-degree angle about 1/4 inch above any bud facing the outside of the plant. This encourages water to run off the cut and promotes outward growth.
  • If you would like to get more guidance on larger pruning projects or clean up job in the garden post-winter – take a look at this handy guide: How To Find The Right Tools For Those Outdoor Landscaping And Gardening Jobs

5. Creating a Wildlife-Friendly Garden

Interconnectedness and biodiversity go hand in hand. The best way to enhance the fertility in your garden and reduce the effects of pestilence during the growing season is to ensure a healthy level of biodiversity amongst plants, bugs and even bigger creatures like birds. 

A wildlife-friendly garden honours our natural world.

  • Try planting native flowers and a wider variety of complementary crops.
  • Install bird feeders and birdhouses in your garden to help the birds feed, mate, and nest.
  • If you have larger grounds, do your best to benefit wildlife by protecting their nesting areas.
  • Check out our article on How To Create A More Biodiverse Irish Garden This Spring. We’ve filled it with good advice on making simple, thoughtful interventions in our properties to cultivate a healthier Irish Garden that supports the environment and local species.

Need More Gardening Inspiration in February?

Don’t forget to check out our blog: New Year Resolutions For A More Eco-Conscious Garden. Whether you aim for a more circular economy, more biodiversity, more flood prevention or just love saving money, we list many simple improvements here.

Special Creative Garden Projects For February

Did you try building a Brigid’s Cross from Garden Materials?

It’s the perfect way to recycle your garden’s old rushes, tall grasses or hollow, dried-out reeds. Rushes, or thin branches, have been used traditionally to create protection symbols and remind us of our creative connection to the earth.

Did you know that traditionally, any leftover material from making crosses would be recycled, mulched and sprinkled on agricultural land or incorporated into animal bedding?

Start a Contemplative Corner in the Garden

Inspired by Brigid’s association with poetry, why not create a tranquil corner in your garden for reflection and poetry reading or reading in general?

Foster a deep spiritual connection with nature by creating a contemplative space in your garden for sitting back after all that hard work. What better way to honour St Brigid or your goddess of choice than by meditating on the beauty of your emerging garden this spring?

Observe the changes in their garden and surrounding nature as a meditative practice, reflecting on the themes of renewal, healing, and growth that St. Brigid represents.


When a Garden is More than just a Garden

In the tradition of the Zen masters, our very own goddess, Brigid, could inspire us as we engage in our gardening activities as a form of practice.

Gardening activities can do more than beautify our physical property surroundings. It may also bring bodily and mental health benefits as we get the exercise and stress relief from tending to our backyard!

At a time when the  Earth appears more fragile, let’s hope the green shoot in our home soil inspires us to appreciate it and protect it even more.