Seasonal Gardening Calendar
February brings a few warm sunny days. You can enjoy the blooms of your Lenten rose, prune fruit trees, and make sure bird feeders are always stocked.
FEBRUARY Week 1
February Shopping List
Prune fruit trees
Prune apple and pear trees now – but postpone peach pruning until mid-March.
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.
Check for blooms
Look for blooms on your Lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis). Few other plants can supply the year-round interest of this evergreen groundcover.
Redesign your lawn
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.
Water winter plants
Water poinsettia, Christmas cactus and amaryllis plants with houseplant fertilizer diluted to one-half strength. Don’t overwater!
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FEBRUARY Week 2
Test your soil
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.
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
Force Winter blooms
Bring branches of spirea, forsythia and flowering quince indoors. Placed in a vase, they will bloom in just a few days.
Remember to turn houseplants 180 degrees every two weeks to prevent uneven growth.
Remove tree supports
Remove guy wires, stakes and trunk wraps from small trees you planted last fall.
FEBRUARY Week 3
Prune ornamental grasses
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.
Plant sweet pea
Plant sweet pea now for fragrant flowers later. Plant English peas, onions, asparagus or elephant garlic for your spring vegetable garden.
Prune your shrubs
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 container garden
Plant a large container for your patio. A small boxwood surrounded by variegated ivy and blooming pansies would look very nice!
Plant daphne shrubs
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.
FEBRUARY Week 4
Clean your bird boxes
Clean out bird boxes so they will be ready to welcome new residents in a few weeks.
Build raised beds
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.
Prune your butterfly bush
Reduce the size of your butterfly bush by two thirds to one half to encourage new growth (and big blooms) this summer.
Fertilize your fescue
Time for the first fertilization of fescue for the year. Any brand of turf fertilizer will work well. Next application: April.
Clean up your monkey grass
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