February Garden TasksFebruary 10, 2010
Please note: What I write in this space are lessons learned through trial and error, research, and from other gardeners and professionals. I garden in zone 9, but share garden experiences that I believe are relevant to most zones within a reasonable time frame and planting conditions.
February is a month of rhythmic movements. Fragrant roses and Saint Valentine’s Day cards stir the hearts of new and established relationships. Winter is fading and the earth itself senses change and celebration. Anticipated possibilities are just around the corner. To help you love your way back into the garden, below are a few tasks.
In the vegetable garden: plant artichokes, onion sets and green onions, peas, spinach, Swiss chard. Indoors, sow beets, broccoli, blueberries, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, eggplant, grapes, green onions, peppers, parsley, lettuce, spinach, strawberries, Swiss chard, tomatoes.
Sow lettuce every two weeks for a continuous crop. Once transplanted and the weather heats up, protect lettuce from the sun and you should have salad greens throughout the season. Use scrap wood to build a frame consisting of two sides and a top, large enough to sit over lettuce crop. Attach sunscreen fabric (available at local nurseries) to the frame’s top and sides. Leave the ends open for air. (I’ve seen this done with satisfying results . . . fresh lettuce all summer!)
In the landscape: plant bare root roses and fruit trees, deciduous shrubs, and vines.
For spring annuals, add dianthus, Lobelia, pansy, snapdragon, poppy, and Virginian stock. Consider summer flowering bulbs such as amaryllis, calla, canna, dahlia, gladiolus, lily, and tuberose begonia. Perennials include candytuft, coral bells, poppy, and Shasta daisy. Indoors, start summer annuals: coleus, cosmos, impatiens, marigold, petunia, snapdragon, sunflower, sweet William, and Viola.
For existing trees and plants: feed deciduous fruit and citrus trees, established rhubarb when new sprouts appear, perennials, except azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons. (Feed these when flower cycle is complete.), spring-flowering shrubs, and don’t forget potted plants. Prune apple, pear, plum, peach, and nectarine trees, roses, winter jasmine as soon as it has finished blooming, early spring-blooming flowering shrubs like butterfly bushes and crape myrtles.