Seasonal Calendar – February

FIRST WEEK:
Prune apple and pear trees now – but postpone peach pruning until mid-March. see Home Garden Apples

• It’s dangerous to spray glyphosate (Roundup, etc) on bermudagrass, even if you think it is completely dormant. Make sure no green bermuda sprouts are near the soil surface. Here’s a better idea: Winter Weed Control

• Look for blooms on your Lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis). Few other plants can supply the year-round interest of this evergreen groundcover. See Lenten Rose Propagation

• Redesign your lawn for easier mowing. Eliminate sharp angles and narrow turf areas. Use mulch, new flower beds or a groundcover like mondo grass there instead. see Basic Lawn Maintenance

• Water poinsettia, Christmas cactus and amaryllis plants with houseplant fertilizer diluted to one-half strength. Don’t overwater! see Houseplants Smell Like Rotten Eggs

SECOND WEEK:
• How much fertilizer or lime does your lawn or garden really need? The only way to know for sure is to call your county Extension office (1-800-ASKUGA-1) and get a soil test kit. see Georgia Soil Testing

• Prune one-fourth of the branches from your overgrown fig bush. Removing any more will reduce the number of fruit this summer. Concentrate on saving the horizontal ones. see Fig Pruning

• Bring branches of spirea, forsythia and flowering quince indoors. Placed in a vase, they will bloom in just a few days. see Forcing Winter Blooms

• Remember to turn houseplants 180 degrees every two weeks to prevent uneven growth. see Growing Indoor Plants with Success

• Remove guy wires, stakes and trunk wraps from small trees you planted last fall. see Tree Transplanting

THIRD WEEK:
• The brown foliage on pampas grass and maiden grass can be pruned away now. Leave only a “crew cut” of brown stems twelve inches high. see Cutting Back Ornamental Grasses

• Plant sweet pea now for fragrant flowers later. Plant English peas, onions, asparagus or elephant garlic for your spring vegetable garden. see Planting Sweet Pea

• Overgrown Burford holly shrubs can be pruned severely now. Even if it is reduced to twelve inches tall, this shrub will resprout plenty of new foliage by summer. see Shrub Pruning

• Plant a large container for your patio. A small boxwood surrounded by variegated ivy and blooming pansies would look very nice!

• Plant a winter daphne (Daphne odorum) near your home’s entrance or front walkway. The scent will greet you each day when you arrive at your abode this spring. see Make Your Own Daphne Soil

FOURTH WEEK:
• Clean out bird boxes so they will be ready to welcome new residents in a few weeks. see Cleaning Bluebird Boxes

• Build raised beds for vegetables, roses and herbs. It’s easy to do with four pieces of 2×8 wood planks. Choose lengths that fit your space; bolt them together at the corners. see Raised Bed Materials

• Reduce the size of your butterfly bush by two thirds to one half to encourage new growth (and big blooms) this summer. see Butterfly Bush Pruning

• Time for the first fertilization of fescue for the year. Any brand of turf fertilizer will work well. Next application: April. see Fertilizing Fescue

• Set your mower to its highest setting and cut off the tattered leaves of liriope (monkey grass). They will quickly regrow in March. see Liriope Care