February Garden Tips


  ” 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

Garden Guide

  • 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-

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