We’ve had spring and winter this past month. Flower buds are beginning to break on the trees and shrubs. It’s too early! Freezing weather could be right around the corner. Even if the groundhog DID NOT see his shadow, he is only 39% correct, so be prepared.
February is the month to begin the heavy pruning on shade trees, fruit trees, shrubs, hedges, and roses. Begin by removing diseased and crossed limbs. Use paint on oak trees that have been cut. This is the surest way to prevent Oak Wilt.
Peach and plum trees need to be shaped like a goblet. Cut back the center branch and remove two or three opposite branches, forming a bowl shape. You will be able to pick the fruit without the help of a ladder.
Before bud break on trees and shrubs, spray with Dormant Oil. On fruit, nut trees, hollies, pines, Dormant Oil, known as horticultural oil, is a highly refined, lightweight oil that controls scale and overwintering insects on the plants we’ve discussed. It must be applied during the late winter. Beneficial nematodes is another application that can prevent many problems in the garden, lawn, and flowers. It kills many soil insects. The nursery person can explain the proper way to apply the nematodes.
Wait until after spring bloom to cut back climbing roses and spring blooming trees and shrubs. After they have bloomed, prune them back as you wish. Fertilize and mulch after they have been pruned.
Divide perennials before they begin to green up–cannas, irises, mums, fall asters, and many more.
Continue to remove dead annuals and cut back perennials. Continue to fertilize flowering plants every two or three weeks. Try using Rose Glow for the blooming plants. It is a very good plant food. Blanco Gardens carries it.
Cool season flowers can still be planted–pansies, snapdragon, alyssum, pinks, larkspur, stocks, petunias, and bright lights ornamental swiss chard.
February is the month to plant potatoes, onions, asparagus, transplants of cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, and other root and leaf vegetables.
Remember: watering deeper, once a week, is more beneficial than watering every day for ten minutes.
Be prepared to cover your transplants if damaging weather is expected.