Gardening Tips for February
Spring is nearly upon us and we are eager to see the end of the cold winter spells we have had. So how best can you prepare your garden now for the busy season ahead? Here are some of our best gardening tips for you for February:
Continue to shovel and then use deicing salt only as needed You'll use less deicing salt reducing salt damage to your lawn and landscape plants. Further protect your plants by using plant and pet-friendly deicers.
Prune out any winter damaged stems and branches. Wait for the worst of winter weather to pass before pruning trees and shrubs.
Take a walk through your landscape, review photos and notes about last year's garden. Look for areas that would benefit from a tree or shrubs or additional colour from annual and perennial flowers. Start a wish list of seeds, plants and garden art that will fill these voids or add some additional sparkle to your landscape.
Shop for seeds early for the best selection. Store in a cool place until it is time to plant.
Inventory, gather and purchase containers, sterile seed starting mix, seeds, lights and other equipment needed for starting seeds.
Create a seeding chart for recording plant names, starting dates and other important information. Use your garden journal or other notebook to record and save this valuable information for next year. Consider investing in a journal if you do not already own one.
Take forced bulbs out of cold storage. Place in a cool location and allow several weeks for the bulbs to sprout and bloom. Stagger the transition to extend your indoor enjoyment.
Once forced bulbs are done flowering, move them to a sunny window and water thoroughly as needed. Fertilize with a dilute solution of flowering houseplant fertilizer. After danger of frost has passed, you can move these into the garden. But be patient, they may not bloom for two years.
This is a great time to take your lawn mower or other outdoor garden equipment to the repair shop and beat the spring rush.
A variety of leaf spots diseases attack houseplants, especially those that have been overwatered. Reduce watering frequency and remove infected leaves. This is usually enough to fix the problem.
Check houseplants for salt buildup. This appears as a crusty, white substance on the soil surface or as white stain rings on clay pots. Scrape off the crusty, salt buildup on the soil and then leach the soil by watering thoroughly. Wait 20 minutes and water thoroughly again.
Mealybugs look like little pieces of cotton and are found in the leaf joints and stems of a variety of houseplants. Treat with alcohol by dipping a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and apply it to each mealybug. Then, spray the plant with an eco-friendly product such as an insecticidal soap. Treat weekly as needed.