Monday, February 3, 2014

February Gardening Tips

As I am writing this, it's snowing...again. The groundhog indicated that we would have 6 more weeks of winter.  Phil, I hope you're wrong.

Here are some things we can be doing inside and out to prepare for spring's arrival.


As days start to lengthen, continue to provide humidity for houseplants by using a humidifier or place plants on a large saucer atop moist pebbles. Continue to water plants when the soil surface is dry. Empty saucers of standing water. Monitor and treat for insects by removing affected laves or by spraying with insecticidal soap and horticultural oil.
Luckily, our greenhouse provides all of the humidity that help our plants thrive.

Buy seeds now to get the best selection available. Cole crops and other early spring crops like broccoli, cabbage, kale, and perennial herbs can be started now for planting outside in early April. Wait until next month to start tomatoes, peppers and other warm crops that will not be transplanted until mid-May.
Some like 'em hot!

As Amaryllis finish blooming, cut off the large flower stalk and allow the leaves to grow out. Place the plant outside after all danger of frost has passed.

Take a class on gardening. Look at the seminars offered at Valley View Farms. Check back for more classes in April and June.
Terry Freed from Peninsula Nurseries teaches us about growing fruit trees.

Be careful not to get ice melt on lawns or planting beds.

Do not walk or drive on frozen lawns as grass blades and crowns may be destroyed.

Watch for voles, especially around trees and shrubs planted last year. Stomp snow around plants to keep voles from easily tunneling through to feed on plant material.

Deer are feeding now too. Use deer repellents or fencing to avoid damage to trees and shrubs.
This has worked very well around my garden

Feed the birds. Suet and black oil sunflower seeds are favored by many winter birds.

Prune trees and shrubs that have been damaged by winter storms. Do not use pruning paint as trees properly pruned heal fine.

Apply dormant oil to fruit trees as daytime temperatures rise above 40 degrees F. Summit Horticultural Oil will suppress overwintering insects and disease on trees.

As the extremely cold temperatures of this winter fade away, many other gardening tasks should be performed. We can address other gardening tasks as we get mild weather.

In the meantime, keep warm and dry and enjoy the season.