by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener
February gardens yearn for Spring. The Short days of January get brighter every day until springs break. It is also our best month for snow, yet flowers bloom even in snow. You can feel it: plants’ slow, sweet shift toward Spring
February gardens yearn for Spring. The Short days of January get brighter every day until springs break. It is also our best month for snow, yet flowers bloom even in snow. You can feel it: plants’ slow, sweet shift toward Spring.
February is ideal for the soil preparation of new flower beds and the vegetable garden. Turn manure and compost into beds along with Watters “Fruit & Veggie Food,” gypsum, and bone meal. These garden additives increase the harvest and flavor. Check remaining flower beds for soil heaving and cover them with mulch.
Finish pruning the landscape. After pruning, spray fruit trees and those plants prone to disease and bug problems with Watters “All Season Dormant Spray.” Really focus on disease-prone plants like roses, peach, plums, cherry, apples, and pears. Pruning is critical for:
- Fruit trees
- Black and Raspberry
- Butterfly bushes
- Chaste trees
- Other summer-blooming shrubs
Non-GMO seeds, organic vegetables, and fruit trees fill the garden center in February. Your onions, asparagus, rhubarb, potatoes, and garlic can be planted as soon as the ground thaws. It is essential to plant new fruit trees and berries before they open their first flowers and set leaves.
It’s time to seed cool-season veggies that grow best with Spring planting: peas, radishes, carrots, and potato tubers. If your lettuce didn’t overwinter, sow a spring crop later in the month. The winter weeds will also grow, so get a jump on them.
Foxtail and dandelion are a problem in February. Apply Watters “Weed & Grass Stopper” to keep weeds at bay as the days warm.
Animals are hungry this month. Watch for deer eating the tips off tender new plants. Porcupines like to strip the bark of trunks of fruit trees, elm, aspen, and poplars.
Winter blooming heath and Camellia are in full color. The pansies, viola, poppy, and kale signal spring is days away. Add them to your flower gardens.
Bring in branches from fragrant winter bloomers. We are graced with so many winter blooms. Bring some of the flowers indoors. Branches of Forsythia, Apricot, Witch hazel, and Wintersweet stir the senses. Fill a bucket with lukewarm water and put cut ends in as you gather. Change the water in your vase every couple of days.
Important February Garden Task
• Free Garden classes at the nursery begin every Saturday at 9:30am
• Water the landscape twice this month
• Finish pruning trees, shrubs, and perennials
• Spray trees, shrubs, and roses with “All Season Dormant Spray.”
• Apply “Weed & Grass Stopper” to the landscape
• Plant new fruit trees, roses, and large evergreens before March
• Begin dividing perennials
February Pest to Control
• Skunk digging holes in the lawn means grubs are present
• Porcupine stripping bark off lower trunk area
• Deer-eating branch tips off trees
• Keep an eye on houseplant fungus gnat
February Plants in Bloom
• Pink blooming Heath & Camellia
• Crocuses are up and blooming
• Pansy, Viola, Poppy, and Kale
• Oregon Grape blooms yellow, Abelia, Indian Hawthorn, Arborvitae
Join the garden fun. Free garden classes are offered every Saturday from 9:30 to 11 at Watters Garden Center. Check out this spring schedule posted at: WattersGardenCenter.com and look for the ‘Garden Class‘ link. You can also visit the garden center for a program.
9:30 AM Garden Classes are offered by Watters Garden Center every Saturday
February 4 – Mountain Fruit Trees & the Heavy Harvest
February 11 – Gardening for Newcomers
February 18 – Evergreens that Bloom Early
Until next week, I’ll be helping gardeners grow better gardens here at Watters Garden Center.