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Time for the 3 P’s: Plans, Preparation, Planning

February is the month of plans, preparation and planting.

This winter has sure been a challenge and our yards show it. Yet Spring is almost here. In February you need to take inventory of yard and garden, both to assess the effects of winter and revival of your outdoor spaces. It is the month to cleanup and also a good time to plant trees and shrubs. Don’t forget Valentine’s Day, as love is in the air. 

Start Spring Planting 

Now is the time to get these plants started so they’ll be established before hot weather arrives.
  • Roses
  • Trees
  • Accent and border shrubs


Choose What to Prune 


  • Roses – When all danger of frost is past, prune roses. Cut any canes that are diseased, damaged, or dead. Remember to place cuts about one-quarter inch above an outward-facing bud. We like to let Valentine’s Day remind us of this job.
  • Trees – Many trees can be pruned now. Wait to prune spring-flowering trees until after they flower. Choose early summer to prune maples or birches; if pruned now, these trees bleed sap profusely.
  • Shrubs – Give shrubs a late winter shape-up. Prune branches to reduce height or direct growth. Thin the twiggy growth from the interior of shrubs. Prune spring-blooming shrubs after flowering. 


Ready the Garden


  • Weeds – Apply a preemergent weed killer to existing planting beds this month.
  • Cleaning – Remove plants that did not make it through the winter.
  • Mulch – After cleaning up beds and borders you may need to freshen up the mulch.
  • Lawns – Hold off fertilizing warm-season grasses until they begin to actively grow. This avoids feeding the weeds growing in the lawn.
  • Groundcovers – Prune mondo grass and lilyturf before new growth appears. You can use a lawn mower to make quick work of this task.
  • Pest and Disease Control – Spray horticultural oil on fruit trees and other landscape plants. The oil smothers overwintering insects, eggs, and disease spores.



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