Ideas for New Plants
February is a great time to be planting evergreen shrubs, fruit trees, nut trees, and shade trees.
Go ahead and plant cooler weather vegetables such as lettuce, chard, greens, broccoli, cabbage, kale and spinach. You could also get some herbs going like chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, lavender, parsley, oregano, sage, or thyme, not to mention getting blackberries, grapes, figs, pears, peaches and apples planted.
Keep planting cool weather annuals, such as dianthus, pansies, petunias, alyssum, snapdragons and dusty miller. Suggested perennials are daisies, ruellia, salvia greggii, Turk’s cap and yarrow.
Feed your existing annuals. They are probably needing some nutrients. We recommend feeding your established trees and evergreens in late February. Keep dead-heading; this will help promote new blooms by keeping the old ones pinched off the plant.
Even though it is winter and the temperatures are cool, plants still need water. Cold air removes moisture from plants faster than they can absorb it; newly planted trees and shrubs are particularly vulnerable.
Don’t forget to add nutrients and build up your beds as well. Black humus, soil conditioner, rose mix or a good planting mix are all great products to enrich your existing beds and give them a boost as you get them ready for planting.
Prune your standard roses down by about 50% by mid-February. Prune Oak trees by February 15th as this will help reduce the risk of Oak Wilt Infestation. Oaks should not be pruned after mid-February. Be sure to get all fruit trees pruned before new growth starts to emerge.
We had a little cold snap in January and your plants might have had some cold damage, especially those tender tropicals; if this happened to you, mid to late February is a good time to trim off all the dead and/or freeze-damaged foliage. It is still early so pay attention to the forecast! If a freeze is predicted, be sure you water your plants thoroughly and cover your tender plants. Mow or trim grassy groundcovers such as Liriope and Mondo grass if needed due to freeze damage or ragged appearance before new growth starts appearing.
Mulch around your plants, especially trees and shrubs. This helps keep moisture in, helps keeps weeds down and will help insulate the roots in cold temperatures.
Insects – even though it is cool outside, you still have to keep an eye out for pesky creatures on your vegetables and ornamentals. Horticultural oil is to use this time of year, as it help kills off the overwintering insects and their larvae. Use this when the temperature is between 45-65 degrees for at least a couple of weeks. It is also good to treat your fruit trees now to help with insect problems later on in the season.
March is when you start to fertilize but now it is time to put down your pre-emergent herbicide to keep spring weeds from germinating later. There are certain weed killers you can use this time of year, just be sure to check with us to find out what is the best option for you, depending on severity of the problem.
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