February” Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle… a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream.” Barbara Winkler
- Inspect gladiolus corms, dahlia tubers, begonia tubers and other fleshy rooted plants for rot and desiccation.
- Before ordering vegetable seeds, check last year’s seed for viability by placing seeds between moist paper towels for several days.
- To keep your houseplants growing evenly, give the containers a half turn every two days.
- Start seed for impatiens, vinca, pansies, geranium and begonias in mid month.
- Continue to inspect stored vegetables.
- Check for over wintering fire blight cankers on susceptible varieties of apples and pears; remove by pruning.
- Spray dormant oil to control scale and other over wintering pests. Spray on any day above 40 degrees F when forecast temperatures are to remain above freezing for 24 hours. This may be done until buds swell.
- Prune dormant trees and summer flowering shrubs. Don’t prune spring flowering shrubs until after they have flowered.
- When forced bulbs have bloomed and tops have dried, store and then plant in garden in fall.
- Prune roses, fruit trees and bramble fruits.
- Order catalogues from seed companies you’ve been meaning to try.
- Check your garden tools and make a list of new tools you will need or want.
- Sharpen garden tools.
- Give houseplants a monthly shower with tepid water.
- Check young trees and shrubs for rodent injury on lower trunks. Prevent rodent injury with hardware cloth or protective collars.
- Try growing some perennials from seed.
- Don’t use seeds with poor germination rates; seedlings may be more prone to insect and disease problems.
- Use a sterile soil-less medium for starting seeds to avoid dampening off.
– Taken from the Portage County Master Gardeners Newsletter-