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Home & Garden
Don't be afraid to get an
early start on color! Spring blooming perennials, forced bulbs
and ground covers in windowboxes or containers give a colorful
start to the season, while waiting for summer annuals and
perennials to bloom. Pansies, primrose and daffodils are just a
few early bloomers that work well.
When weather permits, start
carefully raking out beds, removing winter mulch, rose collars
and cones. But "mind your feet!" Tender young shoots can be
permanently damaged if stepped on, or tops taken off by vigorous
Newly emerging plants are
difficult to recognize, so "if its green," don't touch it until
it matures a bit more.
Early spring is the time to
start cool weather veggies in cold frames, and flower seedlings
for the summer season.
The tasks and garden
chores of February
Even though it may still be cold,
damp and miserable outdoors, an occasional dose of sunshine
could certainly put the gardening bug into you. With a little
luck, Mother Nature will send a few blossoms your way this
month. We are now at a time when we can no longer put off those
garden projects, waiting for a nice day...... Don't be caught
off guard though, winter is far from being over! If
exceptionally cold weather is forecast, provide protection to
early flowering or tender plants by covering them with some type
of cloth material. Remove the covering as soon as the weather
Shrubs and trees
Deciduous shrubs and trees are still dormant
enough to transplant this month, once the buds have begun to
swell, it will be to late. Click these links for information
moving specimen plants.
Trees which weren't fed last fall should be
deep fed by punching a series of 1-2 inch holes two feet apart
around the drip line and filled with an appropriate food. A
mulch of well
manure is also an excellent treat for your tree.
Mid to late February is the
time to fertilize shrubs and evergreens. Use an acid type
rhododendron fertilizer to feed evergreens, conifers, broad
leaf evergreens, rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias. Use an
all-purpose fertilizer to feed roses and other deciduous trees
and shrubs. If you use dry type fertilizers, be sure to water
it in thoroughly.
Prune your summer flowering shrubs now
but be aware that spring bloomers have already produced their
buds last fall, and pruning them now will result in the loss
quince, spirea and other early spring flowering shrubs should
be pruned a little later, after they have finished flowering.
Pruning to improve the shape of the plant, as well as to open
up the center of the plant to good air circulation and sun
exposure. Always start your pruning by removing all dead,
decayed or broken branches. Click these links for information
It's a good time to stroll
around and trim back any branches that were damaged by the
ravages of winter.
If you haven't yet applied
your dormant fruit spray, DO IT NOW!!
Perennials, annuals, and bulbs
Plants which may have been
pushed out of the ground by frost heave should be pressed
firmly back into place.
Plant daylilies, bleeding
hearts, and plantain lilies this month.
Deciduous vines such as
should be pruned and shaped.
Most perennials may be divided
and moved up until they begin to show new growth.
Check your stored plants such as fuschias and
and if they are shriveled water them lightly.
may try to start into growth if they are subjected to heat.
They should be kept very dry, and stored at 45 degrees F. If
they are shriveling, put them into slightly damp peat moss,
but keep them cool!
If you plan to grow lobelia, ageratum, verbena,
petunia, vinca, or other slowing plants from scratch, the
seeds should be started indoors in the later part of the
month. For more information see
growing plants from seeds.
Climbing roses should be
thinned out to get rid of last years tangled growth.
Fruits and veggies
Rhubarb, horseradish, asparagus
and artichokes can be planted this month.
and grapes must be pruned by Valentines day to prevent sap
can be planted as soon as they become available.
Cane fruits (raspberries and
blackberries), with the exception of everbearers should
have all the canes which produced fruit last year removed.
If you grow currants, remove
all trunks which are over 3 years old.
The vegetable garden should get
its first tilling (if weather permits) to allow the
weather to aid you in breaking up the dirt clods. Exposed
weeds and seeds hopefully will perish. See
Creating a new garden.
Odds and ends
House plants may notice the
longer days, and begin growing. You can begin feeding them
again, but use a dilute 50% fertilizer mix until the growth is
Continue feeding our feathered
friends, you'll want them to stick around to help you in
insect control when the weather warms again.
Did you check your garden tools
yet? Don't wait 'til the spring rush to get your mower back in
In the event of snow, be sure
to shake or brush off the white stuff from the branches of
your evergreens and shrubs.
It's time to turn the
Source: The Garden Helper:
CLOUDY WATER in your floral arrangement is a sign that
bacteria are growing, and this will shorten the life of your cut
flowers. To make the water clear again, just add 2 tablespoons
of chlorine bleach in one cup of water to the water in the vase.
In a few minutes, the water will be crystal clear again, a sign
that the bacteria have been killed - and your flowers will stay