February Gardening Tips

 

Prune

Continue dormant pruning; limit pruning of spring-bloomers to removal of sucker growth and rubbing, overgrown, or broken branches, or cutting for forcing into bloom indoors.

Finish pruning berry bushes

 

Watch for

Sign of bagworm, borers, caterpillar nests, galls, scale.

 

Winter Plant Protection

Check protective screening and mulches – loosen if matted by snow.

Check plant stakes and ties – loosen guy wires in danger of strangling trunks.

Check depth of snow against height of tree guards set against gnawing rodents.

Reapply anti-desiccants to young, exposed evergreens if temperature remains above 40 degrees for several days.

Water broadleaf and needle evergreens during a thaw; wash well to combat insects and dust in dry areas.

 

Chores

Pick up fallen storm debris.

Clean, sharpen and oil tools and lawn mowers; clean spray equipment; inventory left over

supplies.

Wash and scrub pots and flats used for seedlings.

Continue to feed the birds

 

Plant

Start slow-growing annuals and spring and summer perennials in sterilized potting soil in flats or jiffy pots during late February. Follow directions on seed packages. Set out of direct light and keep covered and evenly moist until germination. Then uncover and move into bright light or under fluorescent light for further growth.

 

Plan

Study mail-order seed and plant catalogs. Consider native plants, which are more tolerant of difficult growing conditions and limited water resources than many exotics or imported varieties. Keep in mind the year-round visual interest of each plant.

Order flower, vegetable and herb seeds.

Take cuttings of geraniums to plant out in May or June.

Check hardy bulbs potted in the fall. Move indoors to force bloom.

Check bulbs and tubers in storage for signs of decay, rot and dryness.