I’m so excited to share my “gardening by month” tips for February! Spring is getting closer, so I wanted to share a list of to do’s in February that will help get your garden ready for the season. Keep in mind that I live in the PNW, which is gardening zone 8, with a last frost date of April 18th. If you live in a different zone, make sure you confirm the frost dates in your area and plan accordingly.
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Garden Planning for the Month
If you haven’t finalized your gardening plan, now is the time to do it! I use the Old Farmer’s Almanac garden planner to plan where I will grow my flowers and veggies in my raised garden beds. I do pay for a yearly subscription for this planner, but for me it’s worth it because I don’t take thorough notes throughout the year. You can also sketch out your own plan if you are a good note taker.
Mapping out your garden is such an important part of the planning process. There are crops that need to be rotated every year, and you must keep track of where you plant them. Crop rotation prevents the build-up of soil-borne pests and disease, and allows for the replenishment and efficiency of soil nutrients. Members of the same plant family shouldn’t be planted in the same garden space more than once every three or four years.
Garden Planting for February
Planting spring flowering evergreen shrubs and vines is a great gardening project for the month of February. Some of my favorites are azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias. Their blooms are just gorgeous and really make an impact in your spring garden!
You can start sowing your sweet pea and pansy seeds indoors. I use 4-inch pots for my sweet peas because of their deep root system, but I have a friend that actually rolls up newspaper to make a tube, and packs it full of potting soil, placing one seed in each tube. The entire newspaper tube can be planted in the ground when it’s time to plant outdoors. Don’t forget to soak the sweet pea seeds for 8-10 hours before you sow them.
Bare root and potted roses can be planted in February. Bare root vegetables such as artichokes, asparagus and rhubarb can also be planted in February.
Monthly Maintenance in the Garden
Prune roses, grapes and wisteria mid-month. I usually wait until President’s Day, because it’s easier for me to remember. Remove any diseased, dead or damaged canes. Wait to prune spring-flowering deciduous ornamentals like forsythia and quince, and spring shrubs until they flower.
Finish pruning your deciduous fruit trees. Fertilize them two to three weeks before they flower. Feed other mature trees and shrubs as their new growth starts.
Watch your early spring bulbs growth. When the foliage is 1 inch high, the mulch around the plant can gradually be removed.
You can help protect ornamental plants from pests and disease, while they are still dormant, by applying horticultural oil/ dormant spray this month.
Tune up your yard equipment and sharpen mower blades to prepare for spring. All I want to do is mow the lawn right now because it has grown so tall from all the rain we have been having. But from everything I have read, it is advised to keep from mowing until March at the earliest.
Add Color to Your Home in February
Try force blooming some of the following branches for an indoor pop of color…dogwood, azalea, rhododendron, forsythia, pussy willow and quince. Make long, slanted cuts and place in water. Change the water every three to four days.
Most of all, make sure you have fun and don’t get too overwhelmed by all the gardening chores you have for the month of February. If you don’t get to it all, just move onto the next month. It’s all about enjoying the journey!