February 2016

February  Tips

Even though it may still be cold, damp and miserable outdoors,
an occasional dose of sunshine could certainly put the gardening bug into you.
With a little luck, Mother Nature will send a few blossoms your way this month.

We are now at a time when we can no longer put off those garden projects, waiting for a nice day……
Don’t be caught off guard though, winter is far from being over!
If exceptionally cold weather is predicted, protect  flowering or tender plants by covering them with some type of cloth material.

Remove the covering as soon as the weather moderates again.

Plants in Flower

Wintersweet, Breath-of-Spring (Winter Honeysuckle), Lenton-Rose (Helleborus), Trailing Arbutus, Crocus, Violets, and Japanese Flowering Apricot.

 

Trees and Shrubs

 

Deciduous shrubs and trees are still dormant enough to transplant this month.
Once the buds have begun to swell, it will be too late.  Azaleas and small shrubs transplant easily but moving rhododendrons and other species size plants takes considerably more effort.

Trees that weren’t fed last fall should be deep fed by punching a series of 1-2 inch holes
two feet apart around the drip line and filled with an appropriate food.
A mulch of well composted manure is also an excellent treat for your tree.

Mid to late February is the time to fertilize shrubs and evergreens.
Use an acid type Rhododendron fertilizer to feed evergreens, conifers,
broad leaf evergreens, Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Camellias.
Use an all-purpose fertilizer to feed Roses and other deciduous trees and shrubs.
If you use granular type fertilizers, be sure to water it in thoroughly.

Prune your summer flowering shrubs now but be aware that spring bloomers have already
produced their buds last fall, and pruning them now will result in the loss of flowers.
Forsythia, Quince, Spirea and other early spring flowering shrubs should be pruned a little later, after they have finished flowering.

Pruning should be done to improve the shape of the plant, as well as to open up the center of the plant to good air circulation and sun exposure.
Always start your pruning by removing all dead, decayed or broken branches.
The methods of pruning Roses vary, depending on the type of Rose.
Climbing roses should be thinned out to get rid of last years tangled growth.

It’s a good time to stroll around and trim back any branches that were damaged by the ravages of winter.

If you haven’t yet applied your dormant spray to your fruit trees, DO IT NOW!!

Annuals and Perennials

Plants that may have been pushed out of the ground by frost heave
should be pressed firmly back into place.

Plant Daylilies, Bleeding Hearts, and Hostas this month.

Deciduous vines such as Honeysuckle should be pruned for shape.

Most perennials can be divided and moved up until the time they begin to show new growth.

Check your over-wintered plants such as Fuchsias and Geraniums,
and if they are shriveled water them lightly.

Stored summer flowering bulbs may try to start into growth if they are subjected to heat.
They should be kept very dry, and stored at 45° F.
If they are shriveling, put them into slightly damp peat moss, but keep them cool!

If you plan to grow Lobelia, Ageratum, Verbena, Petunia, Vinca,
or other slow growing plants from scratch, the seeds should be started indoors in the later part of the month.

Miscellaneous

Your house plants may notice the longer days, and begin growing.
You can begin feeding them again, but only use a half strength solution of
your House Plant fertilizer until the growth is robust

Continue feeding our feathered friends, you’ll want them to stick around
to help you in insect control when the weather warms again.

Did you check your garden tools yet?
Don’t wait ’til the spring rush to get your mower back in shape!

In the event of snow, be sure to shake or brush off the white stuff
from the branches of evergreens and shrubs.

 

 

 

Monthly Check List

Zone 7 Monthly Gardening To Do List

January
Sow seeds of warm-season annuals
Set out summer-flowering bulbs
Plant fall-blooming bulbs
Plant balled-and-burlapped, container, and bare-root fruit trees
Apply dormant spray to fruit trees before buds swell
Spray apples, peaches, and pears that have been affected with canker problems
Plant bare-root perennial vegetables
Plant seedlings of cool-weather vegetables
Sow fast-growing warm-season vegetables
Sow seeds for frost-tolerant perennials
Sow seeds for tender perennials
Plant container and bare-root roses
Plant balled-and-burlapped, container, and bare-root trees, shrubs, and vines
Plant summer-blooming shrubs and vines
Plant frost-tolerant trees
Plant conifers and broad-leaf evergreens

February
Order seeds
Sow seeds of warm-season annuals indoors
Plant ornamental trees
Prune flowering fruit trees while in bloom
Prune winter-flowering shrubs and vines after bloom
Sow seeds of warm-season vegetables indoors
Sow seeds for hardy spring-blooming annuals
Plant or transplant cool-season vegetable seedlings

March
Sow seeds of warm-season annuals
Set out summer-flowering bulbs
Plant fall-blooming bulbs
Plant balled-and-burlapped, container, and bare-root fruit trees
Apply dormant spray to fruit trees before buds swell
Spray apples, peaches, and pears that have been affected with canker problems
Plant bare-root perennial vegetables
Plant seedlings of cool-weather vegetables
Sow fast-growing warm-season vegetables
Sow seeds for frost-tolerant perennials
Sow seeds for tender perennials
Plant container and bare-root roses
Plant balled-and-burlapped, container, and bare-root trees, shrubs, and vines
Plant summer-blooming shrubs and vines
Plant frost-tolerant trees
Plant conifers and broad-leaf evergreens

April
Prune winter-flowering shrubs and vines after bloom
Plant summer- and fall-flowering bulbs
Spray for peach leaf curl, peach leaf blight, and canker
Plant permanent ground covers
Plant or repair lawns
Plant ornamental grasses
Plant bare-root and container roses
Plant or transplant warm-season annuals
Plant fruit trees
Spray dormant fruit trees
Prune frost-sensitive fruit trees
Feed houseplants that are growing or blooming
Plant heat-loving perennials
Uncover roses and apply dormant spray
Plant ornamental and evergreen trees, shrubs, and vines
Apply dormant spray to trees, shrubs, and vines
Prune spring-flowering or tender shrubs and vines during or just after bloom
Plant vegetable seedlings

May
Plant summer- and fall-flowering bulbs
Spray for peach leaf curl, peach leaf blight, and canker
Plant permanent ground covers
Plant or repair lawns
Plant ornamental grasses
Plant annuals for summer and fall color
Plant balled-and-burlapped or container fruit trees
Spray dormant fruit trees
Prune frost-sensitive fruit trees
Feed houseplants that are growing or blooming
Plant heat-loving perennials
Plant container roses
Plant balled-and-burlapped or container trees, shrubs, and vines
Prune spring-flowering or tender shrubs and vines during or just after bloom
Plant or transplant warm-season vegetable seedlings

June
Replace mulch and aerate soil in permanent potted gardens
Remove spent flowers from spring annuals to stretch the blooming season
Plant fall-blooming perennials now
Prune once-blooming roses after they’ve flowered this month
Trim back vines (spring-blooming clematis and wisteria) after they bloom
Begin feeding vegetable plants as they start to flower
Continue to spray peach and apple trees to control fungal diseases
Plant balled-and-burlapped and container shrubs and trees
Lightly prune tips of blackberries and pinch flowers off young grapevines to form and train growth of new canes
Set out seedlings of warm-weather vegetables and annuals
Sow seeds of heat-loving vegetables (squash, pumpkins, melons) directly into the ground
Continue to fertilize roses and treat with fungicide as needed

July
Remove faded flowers from perennials after they finish blooming. Deadheading redirects energy towards healthy roots.
Maintain a 3 to 4 inch mulch layer around trees and shrubs to protect them from mower and weed whacker damage.
Check plants regularly for insect problems; hand pick or use suitable control measures if found
Fertilize warm-season grasses
Plant butterfly nectar and larval food plants such as asclepias, buddleia, and passionflower
Replace spent annuals with heat-tolerant lantana, verbena, pentas, and hibiscus
Consider drip irrigation and/or soaker hoses as efficient watering alternatives
Harvest raspberries and blackberries daily to avoid attracting insects to overripe fruit
Prune water sprouts from apple trees
Water flowerbeds and vegetable gardens deeply. This encourages a deep root system

August
Harvest vegetables continuously to stretch their season
Sprinkle compost starter to speed up composting for fall soil building
Prune summer-blooming shrubs (hydrangea, clethra, caryopteris) after flowers finish
Plant garlic now for spring harvests
Dig gently to harvest potatoes a few plants at a time
Look forward to something different next spring: try alliums in your bulb garden
Sow seeds of cool-weather herbs (chives, parsley, garlic chives, cilantro and dill)
Plan perennial beds for fall and winter color with ornamental grasses, fall-blooming bulbs and hardy heaths and heathers
Enjoy fall fragrance by planting autumn clematis (Clematis paniculata), flowering tobacco and annual stock
Keep cool during summer’s dog days with a shade garden embroidered with hostas and hardy ferns
Color up your bulb garden with fall bloomers (lycoris, fall crocus, colchicum)

September
Set out transplants of cool-weather vegetables
Prune cane fruits such as raspberries and blackberries
Plant winter pansies and fall annuals (calendula, dianthus, ornamental cabbage and kale)
Plant peonies
Plant fall-blooming bulbs to brighten up fading window boxes, planters and in drifts among ornamental grasses
Continue to harvest herbs and flowers for drying
Divide peonies, bearded iris and other spring- and summer-blooming perennials
Plant bareroot trees and shrubs
Order sweet pea seedlings for fall planting
Plant herbs and groundcovers as the weather cools

October
Plant or repair lawns
Plant ornamental grasses
Cover perennial, vegetable, bulb, and strawberry beds for winter
Plant winter- and spring-blooming bulbs
Pre-chill tulips and hyacinths for indoor forcing
Plant balled-and-burlapped or container fruit trees
Cut back on feeding houseplants (do not feed dormant houseplants)
Rake lawn to remove debris
Sow seeds for frost-tolerant perennials
Plant container roses
Plant balled-and-burlapped or container trees, shrubs, and vines
Prune fall-flowering shrubs just after bloom
Protect tender plants from frost

November
Plant ornamental trees
Cover perennial, vegetable, bulb, and strawberry beds for winter
Plant winter- and spring-blooming bulbs
Pre-chill tulips and hyacinths for indoor forcing
Cut back on feeding houseplants (do not feed dormant houseplants)
Rake lawn to remove debris
Protect roses for the winter
Prune fall- and winter-flowering shrubs during or just after bloom
Prune hardy deciduous and evergreen shrubs and vines
Protect tender plants from frost

December
Order seeds
Plant ornamental trees
Apply dormant spray to ornamental trees
Prechill tulips and hyacinths for forcing indoors
Water living Christmas trees
Sow frost-tolerant perennials
Prune winter-flowering shrubs during or just after bloom
Prune hardy deciduous and evergreen trees
Protect tender plants from frost

January 2016

January Tips

We had a few warm days recently, and some of my bulbs got the foolish idea that spring was near.
Probably not a good idea since more icy weather is almost sure to come.
Add a little compost and a thick layer of mulch to protect the tender new growth.
This is an excellent use for the branches of your discarded Christmas trees.

In the event of snow, be sure to shake or brush off the white stuff from the branches
of your evergreens and shrubs. The light fluffy snow poses no real threat,
but if it should become wet and frozen, the weight dramatically increases.
Branches are more brittle when the plants are dormant, and the weight of the snow may snap them off.

Dormant spraying of fruit trees, Cotoneaster, Dogwoods, etc. should be done this month.

It’s a good time to prune most of your deciduous trees and shrubs.

Forsythia, Jasmine, Pussy Willow and Quince sprays can be cut and brought into the house now for forcing.
The warmth in the home will bring some early bloom to your room.

Fireplace ashes should be saved to use a fertilizer for your Iris and other alkaline soil plants.

If the ground is workable at all (not frozen and not too wet), now is an excellent time to turn the soil.
Not only will this expose insect eggs to the effects of winter and hungry birds,
the freezing will help to break apart heavy clods of dirt.

Don’t forget about caring for your house plants!