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LET’S TALK GARDENING – February Gardening Thoughts and Tips

By Doug Hensel
Doug's Blog

HELL-O FEBRUARY, GOOD-BYE JANUARY  –  ONLY ONE MONTH FROM SPRING!!

I am getting excited about spring. As of this writing, spring is only 48 days away. Our daylight is getting longer. February is the last full month of winter. For some of us gardeners, we view February as the GATEWAY MONTH to spring.

Sure, we are still in winter and we will have some cold, wintry days and maybe some more snow days. But, on nice days there are plenty of outdoor chores that need to be done this month. And, it is these nice days that allow us to escape from being cooped up in our house and get outside and enjoy our gardens, fresh air, and sunshine.

HERE ARE JUST A FEW THOUGHTS AND TIPS FOR FEBRUARY

  1. GET YOUR SOIL TESTED: I can’t stress enough the value of a soil test and the valuable information that it provides us about the soil. We sell soil test kits. Come get one for either your landscape, gardens, or lawn. We will both receive your results from the test and we can review them together.
  2. If you have had problems with crabgrass, then toward the end of February you want to be sure to apply a crabgrass pre-emergent. Remember, crabgrass is an annual weed, meaning the plant from last year is dead. But, before dying, it dropped seed for this years’ weed. One product that I would like to recommend is the ESPOMA ORGANIC WEED PREVENTER WITH CORN GLUTEN. This product will keep crabgrass seeds from germinating as well as other listed lawn weed seeds. How it works is that it keeps the sprouted weeds from generating any root system.
  3. Houseplants may be noticing the longer days and brighter sunlight and begin growing. You can now begin feeding them again.
  4. February is a key pruning month. Knock Out roses, monkey grass, crape myrtle, butterfly bush, and many other deciduous plants can be cut back now  –  IF THEY NEED IT.
  5. Don’t stop feeding the birds. Insects are not out yet. Birds are dependent on our providing food for them in February.
  6. Don’t forget to pinch back and feed your winter pansies. By doing so, you will encourage branching and more bud formation which will lead to more beautiful flowers as we get closer to March.
  7. Dormant oil spray, such as BONIDE’S ALL-SEASON HORTICULTURAL OIL, can be applied to fruit trees and assorted deciduous shrubs now. This product will coat and suffocate any insect that is living in all the crevasses and cracks of the bark. This Bonide product is very safe and organic to apply on any nice, warm day in February.

On warm, sunny days in February, let’s be sure to get outside and walk around and enjoy being outside with nature. Things are beginning to change. Spring bulbs are beginning to pop through the ground. Birds are being more active. It is a fun time to be into gardening! LET’S MAKE 2021 A HEALTHY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!

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10 thoughts on “LET’S TALK GARDENING – February Gardening Thoughts and Tips

  1. Hey Doug – this was a great help for me. Now, can you recommend a good site to learn how to prune our crepe myrtle?
    Michele

  2. Michele, Good Afternoon. I am not aware of any specific site for information of pruning a crape myrtle. Just don’t prune the way you see so many cut back to stubbles. This is so wrong is so many ways. My advice – just use common sense and judgement as to what needs to be pruned and how much needs to be cut. Round up the head. Maybe thin some of the smaller branches. thank you for this question. Doug

  3. Harriett,
    Good Afternoon.
    How far back is more of a personal preference. Some people will cut them back to a foot or two from the ground. Others will keep the plant rounded at 3′ tall and wide. Either way works since KockOut roses will bloom off the new spring growth. Doug

  4. Hi! If you put down the weed preventer will you be able to put grass seed down in April?

  5. Carol,
    Good Afternoon. And, a good question.
    Normally, we use the spring to fight weeds, like crabgrass. And, we do our seeding and fertilizing in the fall. Now, with this said, you could do some spot grass seeding in areas that are thin. Just keep in mind that this grass seed won’t have too much time to grow and develop deep root growth before the heat and stress of the summer months. Therefore, the seed that you put down in April will more than likely die in the summer.

  6. Hi Doug,
    We have chickweed and bittercress, I believe. Yes, I try to pull it up my hand, but there is so much! What can we do to minimize it?

  7. I have fire bushes that are huge. Can I cut them back to about half their current size?

  8. Christopher,
    You don’t mention the type of bushes that you want to trim. I really would like to know before I recommend trimming. Get back to me if you can. Thanks, Doug

  9. Jen,
    Yes – chickweed and bittercrest are both very common noxious weeds that are beginning to break dormancy. On nice days, with temperatures above 40 degrees, you can try using a herbicide for control. Good luck. Doug

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