February in the Garden
Please come visit us at The Natural Gardener for the most comprehensive advice, plants, and organic gardening supplies appropriate to our area and the current season.
SEEDS in season
Vegetables – Start tomato & pepper seeds indoors!
Arugula • Beets • Carrots • Endive • Kale • Kohlrabi • Lettuce • Mustard Greens • Parsnips • Peas (English, snow, & snap) • Radishes • Rutabaga • Spinach • Turnips • Swiss Chard
Herbs – Start basil indoors!
Chives • Cilantro • Dill • Fennel • Parsley
Alyssum • Calendula • Coreopsis • Echinacea • Nasturtium • Sweet Peas
things to TRANSPLANT
Asparagus • Leeks • Lettuce • Onion Sets • Seed Potatoes • Spinach • Strawberries
Tomatoes (tomatoes are cold tender and must be protected!)
Apples • Blackberries • Blueberries • Figs • Grapes • Olives • Peaches • Pears • Pecans • Persimmons • Plums • Pomegranates
Chives • Cilantro • Dill • Fennel • Lavender • Lemon Balm • Oregano • Parsley • Rosemary • Sage • Savory • Sorrel • Thyme
African Daisies • Alyssum • Calendula • Bluebonnets • Delphinium • Dianthus • Dusty Miller • English Daisies • Larkspur • Poppies • Snapdragons • Stock
Blackfoot Daisy • Four Nerve Daisy • Echinacea • Hymenoxys • Ruellia • Salvia Greggi • Skeleton Leaf Golden Eye • Turk’s Cap • Yarrow • Zexmenia
Winter is a great time to plant hardy evergreen and deciduous trees, as well as shrubs, groundcovers, and vines.
Continue to protect tender plants, especially new seedlings, before a freeze!
A good garden starts with good soil. Early in the month, work 1-2″ of compost, an organic, solid high-nitrogen fertilizer, and a source of trace minerals to vegetable and flower beds so you’ll be ready when the planting fever hits. For best results, mix the compost and trace minerals in about 6″ deep, then scratch the fertilizer into the top 2″ of the soil. Whether your bed is new or established, give your plants a boost with beneficial mycorrhizal fungi, and inoculate your soil with a dose of our home-brewed aerobic compost tea.
Tastier Fruits & Veggies
Be sure to feed new and existing plants with your favorite organic fertilizer. Leafy greens benefit from nitrogen, while flowering and fruiting plants need more phosphorus.
Prune immature fruit trees if needed. Spray apples, peaches, pears, and plums with an all-natural fungicide when the buds begin to swell. Also spray for plum curculio with dormant oil. Rarely, if ever, do we recommend spraying pesticides or fungicides as a preventative measure except in the case of these non-native fruit trees. Ask our Info Desk for more details.
More Birds, Bees, & Butterflies
Shear evergreen hedges and hardy herbs (oregano, rosemary, savory, thyme, etc.) to achieve a better shape and more blooms. Cut woody perennials such as Esperanza and Firebush down to 12″ segments. When new growth appears at the base, cut the old stems nearly to the ground to eliminate unsightly dead sticks.
Valentine’s Day means it’s time to prune roses! Sometime during the middle of February, shape your rosebushes and give them some TLC in the form of compost and a high-phosphorus fertilizer to promote blooms.
Conserve Our Water
Plants use water more slowly when temperatures are cool, so be careful not to overwater. For plants that need supplemental water: always water deeply before freezes. Dry plants are more likely to suffer freeze damage than well-watered ones.
We often wish we had a rain barrel when we’re finally getting rain in the middle of the hot summer. Do your future self a favor and install one now so you can reap the benefits.