In February, your garden may still be in the grips of winter, but there's plenty you can do to prepare for the coming spring. Here are some tips and tricks for gardening in February:
- Prune Trees and Shrubs: February is an ideal time to prune deciduous trees and shrubs while they are still dormant. Remove dead or diseased branches and shape the plants to encourage healthy growth.
- Start Seedlings Indoors: If you're planning to grow vegetables or flowers from seed, start them indoors in February. Use seed trays or pots filled with seed-starting mix, and provide adequate light and warmth for germination.
- Prepare Garden Beds: Take advantage of mild days to prepare your garden beds for spring planting. Remove weeds, add compost or organic matter, and turn over the soil to improve its structure and fertility.
- Plant Cool-Season Vegetables: In mild climates or with protection, you can start planting cool-season vegetables like lettuce, spinach, kale, and peas outdoors in February. Use row covers or cloches to protect them from frost.
- Force Bulbs Indoors: Bring a touch of spring indoors by forcing bulbs like tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. Plant them in pots filled with potting soil, water well, and place them in a cool, dark location until they start to sprout. Then, move them to a sunny spot indoors.
- Prune Roses: Prune hybrid tea and floribunda roses in late February to promote new growth and flowering later in the year. Remove dead or crossing branches and shape the plants as desired.
- Inspect Garden Tools: Take some time to inspect and clean your garden tools and equipment. Sharpen blades, oil moving parts, and replace any worn-out or damaged tools to ensure they're ready for the busy gardening season ahead.
- Plan Your Garden: Use the quieter months of February to plan your garden for the coming year. Decide what vegetables, flowers, or other plants you want to grow, and sketch out a planting schedule or layout for your garden beds.
- Feed Birds: Provide food and water for birds in your garden, especially during cold spells when natural food sources may be scarce. Set up bird feeders and bird baths to attract a variety of bird species.
- Protect Early Bloomers: If you have early blooming plants like fruit trees or flowering shrubs, keep an eye on them during frosty weather. Cover them with frost cloth or burlap if temperatures dip below freezing to protect delicate buds and blossoms.
By following these tips and tricks, you can make the most of your garden in February and set the stage for a successful growing season ahead.