February Gardening Tips

pruning-300x198February can be a tough month on plants, but with a little effort you can keep your plants healthy and vibrant while planning your spring garden! Follow these easy tips to keep your garden in top shape this February.

 

 

 

Planning:

  • Continue to use garden notes, photos and sketches to assess areas which need plants
  • Finish ordering seeds
  • Continue to order plants from nursery catalogues for later delivery

Chores and Maintenance:

  • Check on winter plant protection; add mulch and adjust plant stakes as necessary
  • Continue to inspect ornamental trees and shrubs for scale insects
  • Use wood ashes from the fireplace as a good source of potash
  • Avoid the use of salt to melt snow, as it is toxic to most plants. Use sawdust, sand or cat litter instead
  • Check on dahlias, cannas and gladiolus bulbs for rotting and/or drying out
  • Keep bird feeders filled throughout winter

Planting:

  • Take cuttings of indoor plants now to use as bedding plants in the late spring; e.g. lantana, geranium, coleus, heliotrope, fuschia, begonia etc.
  • Sow seeds of annuals which require a long growing season, e.g. lobelia, petunia, vinca, browallia, snapdragon, verbena, etc.

Pruning/Fertilizing:

  • Continue to prune away storm-damaged branches promptly. This prevents tearing of the bark
  • Prune forsythia, pussy willow, quince, etc. for forcing indoors
  • Prune summer and fall blooming shrubs

Indoors:

  • Continue to give houseplants increased humidity; mist often or place plants over a tray of moist pebbles
  • On frigid nights continue to protect indoor plants from freezing; move them away from the glass or cover glass with thick newspaper or cardboard
  • Continue to clean leaves of large and smooth leaved houseplants like dracaena, philodendron, ficus, etc.
  • Inspect houseplants for insect pests. Remove pests by hand and spray with insecticidal soap if needed
  • Clean clay pots by soaking overnight in a solution of 1 gallon water, 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup bleach