Let’s Talk About February
By Pat Cordray
Tick tock, tick tock, time is just marching on. One day you are thinking about planting seeds for tomatoes in the winter and you turn around and just about miss it. I have that feeling all the time. Luckily, there are still 2 weeks to get those tomato seeds started. Whew, just made it.
Our area hasn’t had a freeze yet this winter; but we are not out of the woods until March. If we do have a freeze warning, here are a few things to help protect plants that are tender to the cold. Water plants well; this protects the roots. Cover plants, when covering plants use fabric that is made to protect plants, like N-Sulate, bed sheets are too thin to help. Place the fabric over the plants tenting the fabric to the ground with garden pegs. This way the plants will get heat from the ground and the fabric won’t fly away with the wind. Remove the fabric as it warms up during the day. For tender plants in hanging baskets or other containers, move them inside or place them on the ground and follow the previous instructions on covering.
If you love roses and who doesn’t, February is the month to trim them back. I usually trim mine back around Valentine’s day. This trim will help them grow healthy new growth. If you have climbing roses wait until after the first bloom to trim. Want to know more about antique roses? We have a great class this month with Mike Shoup from the Antique Rose Emporium. Sign Up HERE for the class on Saturday, February 20th. Speaking of antique roses, February is the month they come into the nursery, I can’t wait!
As for pruning other plants in your landscape, hold off on your tropical plants, I would still wait until the end of March. You don’t want a surprise cold snap to nip them. Once your camellias have finished blooming that is the time to trim and feed them.
For spring color in the landscape or in containers plant sweet alyssum, Foxglove, Delphinium, hollyhocks, bluebonnets, larkspur, marigolds, poppies, snapdragons and violas. These plants will add tons of blooms now and/or in the early spring.
For even more color, we cannot forget there are tons of hanging baskets that should be available in February. Geranium, Begonia and impatient baskets are usually the first of the season. By the middle of the month the fuchsia hanging baskets will be in. Fuchsia is a beautiful plant with amazing vibrant blooms that cascade over the sides of the basket.
Get those tomato seeds planted asap. You want to be able to plant them in the ground in March.
Now take a breath and wait a little longer to fertilize your lawn, its not quite time.
Oh, the color of spring in the garden.