February Garden Tips
Even though it is still cold and damp outside on occasional warm sunny days your thoughts may begin to pull you toward the spring garden and yard. Don’t be caught off guard though, for winter is far from over. However, there are chores to think about.
Get your soil test for the yard and the vegetable garden. A test will tell you exactly how much fertilizer and lime you will need to make your yard beautiful and your garden productive. Apply the dormant oil spray on the fruit trees DO IT NOW !
Grapes must be pruned prior to Valentines Day to prevent sap bleeding.
Begin feeding your house plants as they can detect the increased day light. Use only half strength solution until growth is robust.
Continue to feed the feathered friends so they will hang around to eat the insects this spring and summer.
Check the garden tools to make sure they are cleaned and sharpened.
It’s time to turn the compost pile!
Trees and shrubs that were not fertilized in the fall can now be fertilized. Now is the time to deep feed them by punching a series of 1-2” holes, two feet apart around the drip line and fill the holes with an appropriate food. Use a slow release fertilizer if possible.
Do not use a fertilizer as ice melt because the nitrogen and phosphorus in the product can runoff into local streams and the Bay.
Be careful with ice-melt around hard surfaces such as driveways and sidewalks as it will cause problems by killing the grass and other plant life.
Get ready to over seed the lawn. The freezing and thawing of the soil actually helps the seeds to get good soil contact.
Check the flowering bulbs for excessive moisture and mold. If the bulbs are soft throw them away, however if they have some mold on them but seem firm they can be planted. If they are shriveled put some dampened peat moss with them and they should perk up.
Now is a good time to evaluate garden areas for architectural elements such as arbors and trellises. Maybe it is time for a new look in the flower or vegetable garden.
Continue to plan the 2018 vegetable garden remembering to rotate the crops. Check out the seed catalogs for new varieties and maybe a new vegetable. Avoid the temptation to start the indoor seeds too early. Check the seed packets for details on starting the seeds.
March is just around the corner, so continue to enjoy the garden and yard from “afar” because before you know it, we all will be busy! !!!
Article by Dawne Howard, Master Gardener and FCFCDB member
Nature Note for 2/18/2018