Friday, January 30, 2009

February Gardening Calendar

Ornamentals
Weeks 1-4
Water evergreens if the soil is dry and unfrozen.
Inspect summer bulbs in storage to be sure none are drying out. Discard any that show signs of rot.
Take geranium cuttings now. Keep the foliage dry to avoid leaf and stem diseases.
Weeks 2-4
Sow seeds of larkspur, sweet peas, Shirley poppies and snapdragons where they are to grow outdoors now. To bloom best, these plants must sprout and begin growth well before warm weather arrives.
Weeks 2-3
Seeds of slow-growing annuals like ageratum, verbena, petunias, geraniums, coleus, impatiens and salvia may be started indoors now.
Week 4
Dormant sprays can be applied to ornamental trees and shrubs now. Do this on a mild day while temperatures are above freezing.
Start tuberous begonias indoors now. “Non-stop” varieties perform well in this climate.

Vegetables
Weeks 1-4
Season extending devices such as cold frames, hot beds, cloches and floating row covers will
allow for an early start to the growing season.
Start onion seeds indoors now.
Run a germination test on seeds stored from previous years to see if they will still sprout.
Don’t work garden soils if they are wet. Squeeze a handful of soil. It should form a ball that
will crumble easily. If it is sticky, allow the soil to dry further before tilling or spading.

Weeks 2-4
Sow celery and and celeriac seeds indoors now.

Weeks 3-4
Sow seeds of broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage indoors now for
transplanting into the garden later this spring.
If soil conditions allow, take a chance sowing peas, lettuce, spinach and radish. If the
weather obliges, you will be rewarded with extra early harvests.

Fruits
Weeks 1-4
Check fruit trees for tent caterpillar egg masses These are laid on twigs in tight clusters that
resemble an oblong brown lump of gum wrapped around the stem. Prune off these twigs or destroy the
eggs by scratching off the clusters with your thumbnail.
Inspect fruit trees for tent caterpillar egg masses. Eggs appear as dark brown or gray collars
that encircle small twigs. Destroy by pruning or scratching off with your thumbnail.

Weeks 1-2
Collect scion wood now for grafting of fruit trees later in spring. Wrap bundled scions with
plastic and store them in the refrigerator.

Weeks 3-4
When pruning diseased branches, sterilize tools with a one part bleach, nine parts water
solution in between cuts. Dry your tools at day’s end and rub them lightly with oil to prevent rusting.
Weeks 3-4
Begin pruning fruit trees. Start with apples and pears first. Peaches and nectarines should be
pruned just before they bloom.

Miscellaneous
Weeks 1-4
When sowing seeds indoors, be sure to use sterile soil mediums to prevent diseases. As soon
as seeds sprout, provide ample light to encourage stocky growth.
Repot any root-bound house plants now before vigorous growth occurs. Choose a new
container that is only 1 or 2 inches larger in diameter than the old pot.
To extend the vase life of cut flowers you should:
1. - Recut stems underwater with a sharp knife.
2. - Remove any stem foliage that would be underwater.
3. - Use a commercial flower preservative.
4. - Display flowers in a cool spot, away from direct sunlight.

No comments: