It may not feel like it today, but we are soooo close to a gorgeous Spring, and there’s lots to do in the garden. Here’s our top 5 to focus on in February to prep for an amazing Spring season.
Check out our February Garden Guide for more tips and remember that trees, shrubs, and perennials can be planted 12 months out of the year! The only difference is the amount of water they need depending on temperatures and wind!
1. Stay Ahead of Big Weather Changes
As we’re seeing right now, seasonal transitions can be a roller coaster of weather events. Beautiful one day, frigid the next. It’s important to know what’s coming our way so you can plan your gardening projects & protect newly planted gardens if needed. We use NOAA as our go to for current weather & upcoming forecasts.
2. Plant Spring Edibles. Tomatoes sooner; Peppers later.
Beloved tomato growing is rewarding and can be challenging. Planting them early this month is a good step toward a bountiful harvest. Tomatoes need cooler nights to have good fruit set. When you buy your tomato starts, buy a tomato cage to install while they’re small. It can act as a frame for cold weather protection (a bag or blanket) if needed and a frame to support your plants as they grow.
Peppers, on the flip side, will be stunted (even killed) by cooler temps. Below 55 is no good for heat-loving peppers. Wait to plant peppers the end of Feb into March. You can go ahead and start other favs like squash, cucumbers, beans, & greens either by seed or transplants mid-Feb.
3. Feed Veggies & Flowers
The warm weather has sent most flowers & veggies on a growing spurt. A good meal of organic plant food like Plant Tone or Medina Growin Green will ensure they continue to look and produce their best for your garden. Both of these are granules that can easily be spread around plants then watered in. Plus, they feed the soil to keep it healthy.
4. Cut back ornamental grasses.
Most of these grasses like Purple Fountain Grass, Muhly Grass, & others are in need of a good shearing to look nice again this Spring. Do this now before the new growth starts. Have a sharp pair of hedge or hand pruners, tie up the grass clump with twine or rope to see the base of the grass. Cut straight across about 4-6in above the ground. This exposes the crown to more light helping to begin their fresh new growth. And you will not have to clean old brown blades out of the new green ones later this Spring.
5. Keep Watch for Winter Insects
Scale is a hard bodied sucking insect that looks like a brown booger stuck to the leaves of plants. Some of their favorites are Burford Holly, Bird of Paradise, Flax Lily, & Irises. They are easily controlled with a spray of organic All Seasons Oil Spray. It literally coats and suffocates the insect. It’s also good for treating indoor plants that may have scale or spider mites.
Check out our February Garden Guide for more tips!
My Meyer lemon is in a pot. If it is planted in the ground, what concerns are there about freezing ?
It tolerates more cold in the ground, as the roots are protected. If you are in southside Corpus Christi, the north wind blowing across the bay moderates the temperature, e.g. it gets colder in Portland than in Pharoah Valley. Chances of losing it to a freeze are slight, and if the oddball hard freeze event arises (28 or below), there are ways to minimize damage
Be sure to plant Dill near plants that are bothered by aphids. Dill is a host plant for Ladybugs. They will be happy to eat your aphids. no chemical intervention necessary.
I’ve had trouble with thrips from time to time killing my tomatoes before they get off at a good start. Is there a way to keep this from reoccurring?
Yes! Row crop cover https://mastergardener.extension.wisc.edu/article/floating-row-cover/ is available from various online sources. I have sewn it into a tube, covered the top edge of my tomato cage with a garden hose slit on one side, and slipped the tube over the tomato cage. Bury or brick cover the bottom edge, and twist tie the top end closed. I grew the most flawless tomato plants you have ever seen! No thrips, whitefly, tomato hornworm, grackle pecks, few to no disease, as many are vectored by insects. Sunshine and water go right through the thin filmy fabric. Lower the fabric to harvest, then close back up.
Thank you so much. I will search out row crop cover. I am assuming this is not a product you stock since you suggested online sources. Am looking forward to tomatoes this spring!
I see it comes in different weights. Which should I consider? Thanks
The problems I am constantly having are large red ants that eat up my jasmines, Hibiscus, roses, and crepe myrtle. They can eat up a bush in one night. Although my rose bushes come back with a vengeance, it still causes stress on the plant to the point of killing it. My jasmines were beautiful but are now bare. I wish they would eat up all of the weeds instead.
What advice can you give me.
We have the appropriate bait to control leafcutter ants. https://citybugs.tamu.edu/factsheets/landscape/ants/ent-1002/#:~:text=Because%20these%20ants%20eat%20only,control%20of%20leaf%20cutting%20ants.
What causes my back yard grass to turn brown?
Many possible causes! If you are local to us, bring in photos and a sample of affected but not dead grass. Could be excessive shade or traffic, could be one of a couple of different fungal varieties, could be insects if it happened last summer or fall. But do not start randomly dosing with pesticides, get a good analysis first. Maybe send a sample to your local ag extension service.
Thanks for the row crop cover info. I have ordered one. I am assuming this will not affect pollination or do I need to know more regarding this? My tomato plants, when not struck early by thrips, customarily sprawl way outside my large cages. Will they become too constricted within the tube? I’m curious if the radius of my tube should far exceed the radius of the top loop of the cage. I can’t wait to have the success you have had. Thanks.
Yes, make the cover larger diameter than the cage, but not by a lot. And you will pollinate your tomato plants as they do in commercial greenhouses, just give them a shake to distribute pollen. They use something very akin to an electric toothbrush to transmit vibrations to make the pollen fly.
The hard freeze got my beautiful bluebird of paradise. What can I do to save them?
Cut off all leaves, it may or may not regrow from the base.
The hard freeze got my beautiful bluebird paradise,what can I do to revive them?
The hard freeze got my beautiful bluebird of paradise,what can I do to revive them?
During this time the seasons change. So now you have to take care of the garden. You have highlighted the important issues.