Start your Spring Gardening
February is the
time of the year to get out into the garden after the holiday season
and attend to those chores you have been meaning to do. Weed the
garden, paint the house, fertilize the lawn, fertilize the palm trees
and the citrus trees. Many types of citrus are beginning to put
out their spring flowers now.
Be sure to
water when and as long as your local water conservation rules allow
(unless you have been lucky enough to receive adequate precipitation
from passing cold fronts.) Where you are not restricted, water
deep and long since this is the dry season and often what rain we get
is not enough to thoroughly soak into the ground. Spritzing your
garden is not recommended as it causes plant roots to grow short and
short roots during droughts will spell doom for your plants. A
good, long soaking twice a week is best for your annuals, perennials,
trees, shrubs, and lawn (where applicable and practicable).
shrubs may be transplante this month since the cooler weather and
relative dormancy of many plants make it a perfect time. Be
careful to keep as much of the root system intact as possible when
moving your plants and try not to let the roots dry out during the
moving process. After planting, make sure to water your
shrubs and deciduous summer-flowering shrubs can be pruned now, but do
not prune deciduous spring-flowering shrubs until after they bloom.
These plants produce flowers on last year's growth so you will be
cutting off potential blooms if you do it now.
If you still
have poinsettia plants from the holidays, do not throw them out.
You can plant them in a sunny, well-drained spot in the garden.
As poinsettias need long, dark nights to stimulate flowering, do
not plant them near streetlights, porch lights or where vehicles
headlights may shine on them at night.
annuals such as snapdragons, petunias, and calendulas can be renewed by
deadheading them. If the plants have become leggy, prune the
stems back to the desired size and shape. Water and fertilize
them with a bloom boosting fertilizer and they will reward you with
more flowers within a few weeks.
season is still growing strong. If some of your crop plants are looking
a little beat, you still have time to plant another crop of most
vegetables and herbs before the heat and humidity return.
Citrus: Now is a good time to
check citrus trees for scab disease. Apply a copper fungicide
when new leaves appear and again when 2/3 of the flower blossoms have
fallen. If not done in January, fertilize citrus now. The
rule of applying fertilizer to fruit trees is one pound of fertilizer
for each year of the tree's age.
Roses: Roses should be pruned
this month to remove damaged canes and improve the overall form.
After pruning, fertilize and apply a fresh layer of mulch.
Blooming will begin eight to nine weeks after pruning.
Shrubs: Now is the time to
fertilize shrubs. Spread fertilizer evenly over the soil surface
and immediately water in. Follow with a fresh layer of mulch
which will conserve moisture and reduce weeds.
Lawn Weeds: Apply a
pre-emergent weed killer to lawns this month to prevent germination of
warm-season weed seeds. Timing of application is important for
Best bets for
starting a traditional garden this month are:
Vegetables--Beans, Beets, Broccoli,
Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chinese
Cabbage, Collards, Cucumbers, Endive, Escarole, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leek,
Lettuce, Mustard, Onion Sets, Parsley, Peas, Peppers, Pumpkins,
Rhubarb, Romaine, Rutabagas, Spinach, Squash, Strawberries, Sweet Corn,
Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watermelons, and almost any other
vegetable or fruit you desire.
Herbs--Anise, Basil, Borage, Chives,
Chervil, Coriander, Fennel, Garlic, Lavender, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley,
Rosemary, Sage, Sesame, Sweet Marjoram, Thyme and most other herbs.
Flowers--Amaryllis, Asters, Baby's
Breath, Bachelor's Buttons, Balsam, Calendulas, Callas, Candytufts,
Carnations, Cosmos, Cockscombs, Daisies, Dianthus, Forget-me-nots,
Gaillardias, Gladiolas, Globe Amaranth, Hollyhocks, Lace Flowers,
Lilies, Lobelias, Lupines, Marigolds, Narcissus, Nasturtiums, Pansies,
Poppies, Salvias, Scabiosa, Snapdragons, Statice, Stock, Strawflowers,
Sweetpeas, Sweet William, Sweet Felching Verbenas, and other cool
season flowers and bulbs.
Sources: Florida Home Grown; Florida Gardening Month by Month