February Garden Tips
We often get a little tease of spring temperature during Feb but don’t be fooled into rushing starts and new perennials outdoors to soon – instead take advantage of a few nice days to enjoy other gardening projects.
• Garden clean up time is here, rake out debris, trim back unruly shrubs and winter shriveled grasses. Sweep off paths and patios. You can also clean garden tools – oil handles and gears and sterilize pruners and clippers with alcohol before use.
• Weeds always get a head start before the rest of our plants, they go to seed and make your spring clean up harder than it has to be, so get out and pull those guys now before they take over.
• Spray susceptible plants like fruit trees, roses, and lilacs with a dormant spray – copper sulfate, lime-sulfur, or horticultural oils to help avoid disease, fungus and insect infestations later in the year.
• It’s time for mason bee supplies! These native bees are a wonderful pollinator of early flowering plants especially fruit trees. Mason bees are solitary bees that don’t build a traditional hive or make honey but what they do is pollinate about 90% of the flowers they contact! And that’s great for the garden. See our facebook page for videos on how to make your own mason bee house or come join us for a class in March.
• Pick out summer-flowering bulbs to plant in a few weeks when the weather warms.
• Start planning your vegetable garden by reading about new varieties and stocking up on seeds, potato starts and onion sets.
• Plant arugula, peas, favas, spinach, kale, hardy greens and asparagus but lettuce will need a cold frame or cloche.
• Start seeds indoors for planting in March – broccoli, cabbage, cilantro, chives, leeks and parsley.
• Go to a garden show for a little inspiration – Check out our post from last week with a list of exotic gardens and shows around the world.
• Prune dormant trees and shrubs before those tender little buds swell. See our pruning tips blog post for some basic instruction. Some varieties need winter pruning and others need summer pruning or they will bleed to much sap. Make sure you know before you start cutting.
• Add some early bloomers to welcome Spring:
• Some clematis varieties like cirrhosa
• Galanthus – snow drops
• Filbert – corylus
• Hamamelis – Witch hazel
• Edgeworthia – Chinese paperbush
• Stachurus praecox – spiketail
Judging by our amazingly clear and sunny January we might be heading into a ferocious month. Lets hope we get lots of rain to make up for our dry winter and at least a few more nice days for finishing February garden projects.