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.
Prepare for spring planting
Early in the month, work in 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. Read our Guide on Vegetable, Flower, and Herb Gardening.
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.
Apply corn gluten to control spring weeds
Corn gluten provides nitrogen and prevents seeds from germinating. Learn to use it to prevent springtime weeds in the lawn.
Water deeply, especially before freezes
Dry plants are more likely to suffer freeze damage than well-watered ones. Be careful not to overwater; plants use water more slowly when temperatures are cool. Use row cover to protect tender plants and seedlings from freeze. See How to Water.
Valentine’s Day means it’s time to prune roses! Sometime during the middle of February, shape your rose and give it some TLC in the form of compost and a high-phosphorus fertilizer to promote blooms. Read our Rose Guide.
Maintain fruit trees
Prune immature fruit trees if needed. Spray apples, peaches, pears, and plums with an all-natural fungicide when the buds begin to swell. Spray for plum curculio with dormant oil. Read more.
Remove winter debris
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. Removing leaves and tidying other winter debris helps eliminated breeding grounds for bugs and springtime pests. Put it in a compost pile to recycle it into a rich nutrients.