2 - 02 - 2012
The entire country is experiencing temperatures nearly 25 degrees above normal….while it is lovely weather it is not Spring quite yet! Keep in mind the last freeze date is usually around the middle of April, so we should have a couple of more months of this yo-yo weather! Hopefully Mother Nature will be kinder this year and we won’t have another 60-day summer with temperatures over 100 degrees…that was truly miserable for people and plants.
These unseasonably warm days will make it more enjoyable to get out in your garden and get some chores done. February is definitely one of the if not the absolute most important month on the garden calendar because the timing is so critical with so many garden chores – get the timing right and the results will be optimal.
Pruning is probably the most important chore to be done between the middle of February and early March. I always tell my gardening buddies and garden clubs – mark your calendar on Valentine’s Day with the following garden tasks…if you do them you will be rewarded for months and your plants will be happy campers.
*image from Etsy
Say Happy Valentine’s Day!
*image from Martha Stewart
Get creative with a fun twist on Valentine’s on arranging your Valentine’s Day tulips.
*image from Birch and Lily
Happy Valentine’s Day to my garden blog followers!
Top Things to do in February
• Prune to keep your plants tight but still natural – avoid hedges and the lollipop look.
• Please don’t commit Crepe Myrtle murder by chopping off your tree form Crepes – only prune to edit suckers and errant limbs – let the growth continue upwards to achieve the graceful habit they will provide.
• Prune and trim any deciduous trees now…you can see the limb structure without the leaves…look for shape and remove any limbs crossing over another limb.
• Prune evergreens – Hollies, Yew, Yaupon, Boxwood, Laurel, Pines of all varieties is now. • Prune roses – shrub roses should be severely pruned – I prune mine down to around 18” – and remove all dead wood. Climbing roses should be pruned just to be kept in the space you want them in.
• Now is the best time to provide support for your climbing rose canes – they are already setting buds and before they begin to put more buds out get them tucked away into their trellis systems.
• Apply systemic food and herbicide to bases of roses – I love to use the Bayer 3-in-1 product is worth the time and money.
• Apply Ironite other organic products to cool season grasses around the middle of February – they will be emerald green in March – the perfect time for your cool season lawn to look lush and green.
• This is a good time to assess the life cycle of your trees. Are you hanging on to an old Elm tree long past its prime? There are so many wonderful varieties of trees out there just begging to be planted in their place.
• Cut back ornamental grasses – liriope, mondo, ‘Sweet Flag’ and the taller varieties like pampas and fountain grass. Cutting these back in March means cutting back fresh spring growth.
• Begin cutting back your perennials – finalize this in early March.
• Begin garden cleanup in flower beds later this month. • Apply a dose of food to pansies and spring flowering perennials like candy tuft, dianthus, and creeping phlox – they will really benefit after the winter months.
• Look at your garden design – next month is a great time to tweak or modify it.
• Clean your garden tools.
• Enjoy the hint of warmer days to come.
Best of the Season
• Daffodils-with their whimsical trumpet faces-smiling at the sun!