I appreciate and admire the groundhog Punxsutawny Phil. I even think he’s cute. But 6 more weeks of winter?? I think he is mistaken this year. The sunshine that has started off February has slightly thawed out out my gardeners inclination.
A couple more days of it to steam off the damp and I might even start to get excited about gardening. Start slow…stretch…daydream a little and then poke around your garden, never know what you might find just waking up.
Here’s your list:
You can do your winter pruning now of trees and shrubs. Never remove more than one third of your plant at any time. Sometimes that is just one pruning cut. Follow International Society of Arboriculture’s pruning guidelines.
If pruning Cherry Blossom trees or Forsythia or other early blooming trees or shrubs, make a bouquet of the branches and place in a vase of water inside. They should start blooming in a week. It`s a nice way to usher in an early spring.
If needed, apply dormant spray to fruits and roses. Walk through the area first and watch for native insects. Avoid spraying if they are present. Our native pollinators can use all the help they can get.
Always identify the problem first and see if there is another way to prevent it such as sticky tanglefoot for winter moth, or raking and bagging the leaves to help prevent scab or black spot.
You can apply lime towards the end of the month. Avoid working or walking on lawn or garden beds when the ground is frozen. If ground is dry and not frozen you can aerate.
If we continue to get some lovely weather, you can start to tidy and topdress garden beds towards the end of the month with compost or manure.
If you have stored any tubers such as Cannas or Dahlias etc. this is your reminder to check on them and remove any damaged ones. Add new sawdust if needed, turn and dust. Cinnamon works well for me. If you have any that are shrivelled you can stick them in a tub of room temp water for a day and then dry off and put back into their storage container.
Sow your sweet peas outside. Start your tomatoes inside and keep your eyes open for all of the new seeds, seed potatoes, asparagus and any other flowers and veggies that you would like to try. Seeds are cost effective, you get a lot of bang for your hard earned buck! Try something new this year!!
Take stock of your tools and start your repair and wish list.
You can continue planting trees and shrubs as long as the ground isn't frozen or waterlogged.
Surrey residents should take advantage of the fantastic city tree voucher program - it's like getting free money to landscape your home! For classrooms and other neighborhood groups, consider the cities Releaf Program.
Inspect your house plants and start to think about an overhaul. Pot up those that need it towards the end of the month and let go of the ones that need to go.
Yes, I`m talking to you. It`s ok to say goodbye to that shrivelled African Violet and the Boston fern with the three leaves left.
Great time to order up hedging cedars as they`ll be digging fresh during the dry days.
Enjoy the sunshine and hang in there. Spring is just around the corner.