February Top Tips

BIRDS

• Encourage birds in your yard by providing water, putting up bird houses and keeping a well stocked feeding station. Also planting suitable shrubs, trees, vines and evergreens will provide wild food sources and a nesting habitat.

FLOWERS

• Seeds of slow growing annuals such as Ageratum, Verbena, Petunias, Geraniums, Coleus, Impatiens and Salvia can be started indoors now.

HOUSEPLANTS

• Repot any root bound houseplants now before vigorous growth occurs. Choose a container that is 1 or 2 inches larger in diameter than the old pot.
• Begin to fertilize houseplants as they show signs of new growth. Plants that are still resting should not receive any fertilizers at this time.

LAWN EQUIPMENT

• Service and repair your lawn equipment.

VEGETABLES

• Don’t work garden soils when they are wet. To find out if the soil is dry enough, squeeze a handful of it. It should form a ball that will crumble easily. If it is sticky, allow the soil to dry further before tilling or spading.
• Sow seeds of Onion, Celery, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts and Cabbage indoors now for transplanting into the garden later this spring.
• If soil conditions allow, take a chance sowing Peas, Lettuce, Spinach and Radish. If the weather cooperates, you will be rewarded with extra early harvests.

TREES & SHRUBS

• Water evergreens if soil is dry and not frozen.
• Deep root feed all trees once the soil thaws. Follow application amounts on product packages or call our landscape office to provide this service.

FRUIT TREES & BERRIES

• Established fruit trees can be fertilized once the ground thaws. Use fruit tree spikes, formulated for fruit growth, at a rate of 1 spike per inch of the tree trunk diameter—apply around the drip line of the tree.
• When the temperature is over 40 degrees, spray fruit trees, berry plants and roses with dormant oil and lime sulfur. This will control scale and insects and give protection from late frost.
• Check fruit trees for tent caterpillar egg masses. These have been laid on twigs in tight clusters that resemble an oblong brown lump of gum wrapped around the stem. Prune off these twigs or destroy the eggs by scratching off the clusters with your thumbnail.
• Begin pruning grapes, bramble fruits and fruit trees. Start with apples and pears first. Peaches and nectarines should be pruned just before they bloom. When pruning diseased branches, sterilize tools with a one part bleach to nine parts water solution in between each cut. Dry your tools at days end and rub them lightly with oil to prevent rusting. Burn or destroy all prunings to minimize insect or disease occurrence.