February is the month to prune roses. Bush roses should be cut back by one-half by mid month. Climbing roses and one time bloomers should be cut back after they have finished blooming. Ever blooming roses need to have the broken and weak stems removed and 3-5 stems need to be shortened to 12-18 inches. Fertilize with a rose food such as Rose Glow; place compost and mulch around the plants and water in. This is also the perfect time to plant bare-root or container roses.
Continue to remove or cut back frozen annuals and perennials. Cut to the green growth or to the ground. Many plants can be dug out and transplanted or share with friends. Use an organic fertilizer and compost in all of the cleared and cut back areas.
Pecan trees, hollies, fruit trees, oaks and pines, plus many other trees and shrubs are prone to Scale. Apply dormant oil, but wait until the weather is above freezing for 48 hours before applying.
If you are interested in planting fruit trees or ornamental shrubs, this is the perfect time. It gives the roots time to develop before the hot weather begins.
Prune broken trees and shrubs. If you are cutting oaks, be sure to paint the new cuts, especially if you are in an Oak Wilt area. We will probably have another hard freeze before Spring. If you plan to do some severe shrub pruning, you should wait another 2-3 weeks before cutting them back. New growth could sprout and a freeze would damage the new growth or kill the plant.
Remember to water your landscape if we are in danger of several weeks without rain or moisture. Drought-stressed plants and grass are damaged more easily than plants that have been watered properly.
This past weekend was what we consider “a real Texas winter.” Now Spring Fever will really set in. If you have to begin planting, keep cans or row cover near by to cover the new transplant or new sprouts.
If the weather cooperates this next week, we plan to fertilize the plants that have been cut back and the Mexican Oak that was planted last year. I am using Growing Green by Medina. It’s an organic fertilizer that can be used on all plants and lawns.