This Month in the Garden (February)

WHEN IT’S CHILLY, READ. WHEN IT’S PRETTY, WEED. —DON BOEKELHEIDE

  • NovemberPageImage Trees & Shrubs
    • As long as the ground isn?t frozen or waterlogged, fruit trees, bushes and perennials can now be planted.
    • Fertilize fruit trees before spring bloom
  • Annuals, Perennials & Shrubs
    • Cut back ornamental grasses
    • If you have any spring-flowering bulbs that you didn’t have time to plant in late fall, plant them now; they’ll come up when the weather turns warm.
  • Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs (Sow & Plant:)
    • Peas ? George Washington?s birthday (21 FEB) is the traditional time to sow peas. If the soil is really cold and wet, wait a few weeks or cover with a piece of clear plastic to keep the heat in and the rain off.
    • Garlic, Spinach, Radishes
    • Salad Greens ? still early, so stick with cool-weather cultivators such as Victoria and Little Gem Romaine; mescalun mixes are the easiest.
    • Onion Sets ? for early green onions, you can plant sets now and use them before they bulb.
    • Bare root fruit trees, cane fruits (blackberries/raspberries) and bushes ? these should be put in to prepared ground while dormant.
    • Rhubarb crowns ? haven’t tried it? Great for pies and sauces!
    • Horseradish roots ? these can be invasive! It?s a good idea to plant them in a very large container sunk into the ground to control their roaming.
  • This & That
    • Cut back ornamental grasses
    • If you have any spring-flowering bulbs that you didn’t have time to plant in late fall, plant them now; they’ll come up when the weather turns warm.
  • Just for Fun!
    • Try forcing branches of spring trees and shrubs indoors These work well: dogwood, spicebrush, serviceberry, redbud, azalea, rhododendron, mountain laurel, forsythia, pussy willow, quince, spirea, and dogwood
    • Grow plants from fruit seeds. Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, tangerines, and pomegranates are fun to grow! Try germinating them in a light, potting-soil mixture containing half peat moss. Keep seeds well watered and in a warm location. If seedlings fail to appear in six weeks, try again with new seeds. While these plants are unlikely to produce flowers or fruit, they are beautiful foliage plants and fun to grow.
  • Did you know… You should handle seed packets carefully? Rubbing the outside to count the seeds? May break the seed coats and reduce germination.

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