February is upon us…Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years a distant time gone by…how fast did all of that glorious time of the year go by! 

You can tell spring is in the air when the lawn maintenance guys start showing up in yards all around the neighborhood…cleaning beds, trimming trees and shrubs stalking the flower beds.

Pruning is probably the most important chore to be done between the middle of February and early March. I always tell my gardening buddies and garden clubs – mark your calendar on Valentine’s Day with the following garden tasks…if you do them you will be rewarded for months and your plants will be happy campers.

Top Things to do in February

• Prune to keep your plants tight but still natural – avoid hedges and the lollipop effect. Prune evergreens – Hollies, Yew, Yaupon, Boxwood, Laurel and deciduous shrubs like spirea. Avoid pruning hydrangeas! 

• Prune roses – shrub roses should be severely pruned – but climbing roses should be pruned just to be kept in the space you want them in. 

• Apply systemic food and herbicide to bases of roses. 

• Secure climbing rose canes – they will thrive when kept upright (I use copper plumbing tubing). 

• Apply Ironite to cool season grasses – they will be emerald green in March. 

• Prune deciduous trees – this is a great time to see the bones of the tree…get suckers and limbs interfering with other limbs out of there. 

• Cut back ornamental grasses – liriope, mondo, and the taller varieties like pampas and fountain grass. Cutting these back in March means cutting back fresh spring growth. 

• Begin cutting back perennials – finalize this in early March. 

• Begin garden cleanup in flower beds – but don’t get too aggressive too early in the month, leaves an overgrowth do provide protection from cold temperatures which will continue through February. 

• Apply a dose of food to pansies and spring flowering perennials like candy tuft, dianthus, and creeping phlox – they will really benefit after the winter months. 

• Order bare root roses from rose sources like Antique Rose Emporium http://www.antiqueroseemporium.com/index.html , David Austin Roses http://www.davidaustinroses.com/american/Advanced.asp and Heirloom Roses http://heirloomroses.com/ 

• Look at your garden design – next month is a great time to tweak or modify it. 

• Clean your garden tools. 

• Enjoy the hint of warmer days to come.

Best of the Season

 

• Crocus and Daffodils 

• Forsythia – un-pruned and naturalized the way it should be

Since garden chores are light this month…have some fun inside and do add some vintage Valentine’s Day décor.

Happy Gardening -

All My Best -