February To Do List

Category: To Do Lists

February To Do List:

  • Add a pop of colour to your containers or  flower beds with potted spring bulbs, winter heather, primulas and pansies.
  • Hamamelis (Witch Hazel), Sarcococca  (Sweetbox) and Camellias are in bloom and make lovely additions to any garden.
  • Apply lime sulphur and dormant oil spray to  fruit trees and roses to combat over-wintering insects and diseases.
  • Apply lime to lawns to help to discourage  moss growth.
  • Clean up garden debris and branches.
  • Clean, oil and sharpen pruners and garden  tools.

Pruning:

Deciduous/Woody Shrubs:

Remove any dead or diseased branches, open  up the interior of shrubs by removing any criss-crossing or inward growing  branches that will inhibit air circulation. Continue to improve shape by  cutting back any desired branches to above a nice, strong bud. Generally it is  a good rule not to remove more than a 1/3 of the plant in any one prune for  best results.
*Wait to prune roses when the forsythia  has bloomed.

Raspberries:

If they were not already removed, this is  the time to remove last year’s fruiting canes of summer bearing raspberries.  These are easy to spot, as they are normally a pale brown colour compared to  the brighter brown of the new canes. Tie the strongest of the new canes to a  support structure for summer fruiting. Fall bearing raspberries should be cut  completely down to ground level.

Gooseberries, Currants and Blueberries:

Older plants benefit from some rejuvenation  pruning by removing 1 or 2 of the oldest branches as close to the ground as  possible. Also remove any really low branches that are touching the ground to  discourage access from pests.

Herbaceous perennials

can be pruned of their old foliage now. Herbaceous grasses should  be pruned towards the end of February.

Evergreen and semi-evergreen perennials

can be cut down to above new growth. Be very careful with lavender  and other woody types to make sure there is some sign of new growth (buds)  beneath your cut.

Lenten Rose or Hellebores orientalis

should have last years leaves removed for aesthetics and to improve  show of buds and blooms.

Vines:

Summer blooming or type ‘C’ Clematis  should be cut down to above the 2nd or  3rd strongest set of buds from the ground (approx. 1  ft.)

Honeysuckle and Wisteria

will also benefit from a pruning to above the 3rd  strongest buds one each branch.

After pruning and fertilizing with an  all-purpose granular fertilizer such as 6-8-6 and mulching with a good organic  compost such as Sea Soil or well composted manure is recommended.

Vegetables:

Garlic can be planted.

When the forsythia is blooming

is also a  good indication it is time to plant out   peas, broad beans and radish. Sometimes this means February but usually  this happens in March.

Indoor houseplants:

As the days are getting longer most  houseplants are waking up from their winter sleep. Early February is a good  time to transplant any requiring it. Generally you should not move them up in  size to a pot more than 1.5-2” larger than what they were in. Plants like  Christmas Cactus and Clivia actually bloom best when root bound so it is not  advisable to repot these often. If the plant is too large to re-pot it will  benefit from a fresh layer of potting soil to its surface and regular  fertilizing.

Over-wintered annuals such as fuchsias  and geraniums:

If you successfully  overwintered these in your garage, cool basement or greenhouse it is time to  look for signs of new growth along the stems. You should now fertilize  with an all-purpose fertilizer and prune  back to above some of the new stem growth. Afterwards move it into an area  where it will receive adequate light but is still protected from frost.

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