Gardening picks up in February. It is the month many gardeners cut back ornamental grass, prune summer flowering shrubs, and plant strawberries, asparagus crowns, trees and shrubs. Below is a list of things to do. Happy gardening.
- Base any fertilizer application on a soil test.
- Fertilize ornamental, fruit, and nut trees and shrubs, annually.
- Finish pruning shade trees, summer flowering shrubs and hedges. Spring blooming shrubs such as forsythia may be pruned immediately after flowering.
- Most bare-rooted trees and shrubs should be planted in February or early March.
- Apply first pre-emergent summer annual herbicide to turf areas from February to mid-March.
- Begin the vegetable garden with cool-season crops such as potatoes, onion and radishes.
- Dormant oil can still be applied to control mites, galls, overwintering aphids, etc.
- Spray peaches and nectarines with a fungicide for prevention of peach leaf curl before bud swell.
- A product containing glyphosate plus a broadleaf herbicide can be used on dormant Bermuda in February when temperatures are above 50 F for winter weed control.
- Place Nantucket pine tip moth pheromone traps by March 1.
- Pre-emergent crabgrass control chemicals can still be applied to cool and warm season turfgrasses. Heed label cautions when using any week killers near or in the root zone of desirable plantings.
Perhaps the majority of your perennials and trees are still dormant during the month. This doesn’t mean you need to ignore you garden. Dormancy actually helps with some of the opportunities for projects during February.
Now is a good time to evaluate the architectural elements of your garden. Inspect your deciduous shrubs and trees. What needs to be pruned? What kind of winter interest do they bring to your garden? Perhaps some need to be removed or transplanted. If the ground is not frozen, winter is a good time to do this.
Even though there will be days of cold damp weather, perhaps there will be an occasional sunny day. This gives opportunity to cut down ornamental grasses or work on the compost pile.
Cold hardy vegetables can be planted now if covered with a plastic translucent row cover.
If planting summer crops early, keep an eye on the weather forecast and be ready to cover tender crops.
Mid- to late-February is the time to fertilize shrubs and evergreens. If you have rhododendrons, azaleas or camellias, use an acid type fertilizer. Use an all-purpose fertilizer to feed roses and other deciduous trees and shrubs. If you use granular type fertilizers, be sure to water it in thoroughly.
Prune your summer flowering shrubs now, but be aware that spring bloomers have already produced their buds last fall, and pruning them now will result in the loss of flowers. Forsythia, quince, spirea and other early spring flowering shrubs should be pruned a little later, after they have finished flowering.
It is a good time to stroll around your landscape and trim back any branches that were damaged by the ice of winter. Plants that may have been pushed out of the ground by frost heave should be pressed firmly back into the ground.
Toward the end of February is a good time to plant daylilies, bleeding hearts and hostas. Most perennials can be divided and moved in February. The vegetable garden can get its first good tilling of the year if weather and wetness permits.
For more information, go to https://eeo.okstate.edu.