February things to do in your yard and garden


FRUITS AND NUTS- Planting season continues for dormant trees. Fertilize fruit trees. Apply half of the fertilizer recommended for grapes now; apply the other half soon after fruit sets. Continue dormant pruning and grafting. Start strawberry plantings.
SHRUBS- Planting season continues. Visit camellia shows to learn of hardy varieties in your area. Graft camellias in Central and South Alabama. Spray all shrubs with a fungicide before new growth starts. Good time to prune all shrubs before new growth starts. Do not prune early-blooming species because flower buds will be removed.
ROSES- Prune hybrid tea roses in South Alabama; delay pruning for a few weeks in North Alabama. Continue planting.
ANNUALS AND PERENNIALS- Replant early plantings of hardy annuals. Prepare beds for summer annuals.
BULBS- Plant cannas, amaryllis, gladiolus, and zephyranthes in South Alabama; delay planting for a few weeks in North Alabama.
VEGETABLE SEED- Plant some vegetables listed for January in Central Alabama plus collards, salsify, and Swiss chard. Add tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts to coldframes.
VEGETABLE PLANTS- Plant cabbage, onions, lettuce, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
•  Houseplants are beginning to show signs of activity.
•  Fertilize with liquid or soluble fertilizer according to manufacturers directions.
•  Visits to a greenhouse or botanical garden are great medicine for an early spring fever.
•  Check out the new spring gardening books at a local bookstore.
•  Have soil test performed on garden plot to determine nutrient needs. Contact the Limestone County Extension Office for assistance.
•  Tune up lawn mower and garden equipment before the busy season begins. Sharpen mower blades and pruners.
•  Check stored bulbs, tubers and corms. Discard any that are soft or diseased.
•  Prune summer-blooming shrubs, fruit trees, grapevines and berry bushes.
•  Gather branches of quince, forsythia, and flowering cherries; bring inside to force early bloom.
•  Make a cold frame or hotbed to start early vegetables or flowers.
•  Plan to add herbaceous perennial flowers to your flowering landscape this spring: astilbe, candytuft, peony, anemone.
•  Make plans for an herb bed, for cooking and for interest in the landscape: parsley, sage, chives, lavender; wait until mid-April to plant.
•  For natural pest control, include Companion Plants in your garden plans.
•  If the ground is dry enough, spade or roto-till cover crops or other organic matter into the soil.
•  Good time to plant fruit trees and deciduous shrubs.
•  Prune clematis, Virginia creeper, and other vining ornamentals.
•  Prune and trellis trailing berries and cane berries.
•  Trim Liriope edging back to ground level and it will grow back thicker in the spring.
•  Fertilize lawns.
•  Repair winter damage to trees and shrubs.
•  Check all five growing factors if your house plants are not growing well. Light, temperature, nutrients, moisture, and humidity must be favorable to provide good growth.