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Top 7 Gardening Must Do’s for February 2024

Fruit Tomatoes Ripe Growing Green House Red

The weather this week is making us want to get outside and garden!! We’re stocking up on veggies, Texas native plants, trees, and lots of flowers and blooming perennials as we head into Spring! Here’s our top 7 gardening tasks to focus on this month to kickstart an amazing season.

1. Be Ready for Cool Weather and Start Planting!

Keep your eye on the forecast for cold snaps, but don’t delay your planting projects. Cool season flowers, trees, shrubs, veggies, and more need to be planted this month to take advantage of cool weather and get a head start on root growth. If we do get another freeze, new plants are easy to cover!

2. Start Your Veggies!

It’s time to start veggie favs like tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, beans, lettuces/greens, & more! Prep those beds with Nature’s Blend compost and get going. If you’re short on space, use containers! Stop by and we’ll help you plan your veggie garden and get you everything you’ll need for a bountiful harvest.

3. Come Learn All About Growing Tomatoes with DeAnna This Saturday at 10!

Tomatoes need to be planted early this month. So….join us this Saturday, 2/3 at 10am for our garden talk, Tomato Time with DeAnna Baumgartner, Gill’s manager and tomato expert! DeAnna will share valuable tips for growing all kinds of tomatoes in the ground and in containers or raised veggie beds. This talk is great for beginners and experienced tomato growers alike. Bring your questions and share your plant knowledge as we hang out and talk about everything tomatoes. We’ll hold the talk outside if the weather’s nice, or inside the greenhouse if not. One attendee will win a $100 Gill’s gift card, and we’ll do some other giveaways too!

4. Keep Feeding Veggies & Flowers

Blooming plants need food! Veggies are especially heavy feeders – they need to be able to sustain blooming and producing fruit. We recommend mixing in a little Bio-Tone Starter when you plant, which contains mycorrhizal fungi that promotes root growth. Then feed with a good organic, granular plant food like Plant-Tone or Medina Growin Green once a month, and supplement with liquid organic Hasta Gro in between. An easy way to remember this is to set an alarm or calendar event for granular feeding on the 1st of the month, then Hasta Gro on the 15th. These will add nutrients to your plants and keep your soil alive and healthy too.

5. Mid February = Time to Prune!

February is the time to get plants cut back to make way for big spring growth! Since we just had a freeze, we recommend waiting another week or so until mid-February. Most perennials like Lantana, Turk’s Cap, and Salvias need a good pruning back to about 4-8″ – don’t be shy! For any plants with woody stems/branches (like Esperanza and Hibiscus) that look dead or damaged, do the scratch test before pruning. Start up high and scratch with your fingernail, a dime, or the back side of a knife. Don’t scratch too deep. If you see the bright green cambium layer (like the photo), that means it’s still alive! If you see brown/gray when you scratch, keep working your way down the plant until you see green. That will tell you where to cut. As always, contact Gill’s if you’re not sure or have questions about whether or how to prune specific plants.

6. Keep Watch for Winter Insects

Scale is a variety of hard bodied sucking insects that range in appearance from white oyster shells to brown boogers 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, but it must be done now. The oil spray literally coats and suffocates the the eggs that are waiting for spring to hatch. It’s also good for treating indoor plants that may have scale or spider mites. 

7. Got Weeds?

Right now, hand pulling the thistle while the ground is moist and keeping the clover mowed before it flowers are the best options to control 2 of our most common weeds. Weed killer sprays (like Weed B Gon) work with warm weather and sunshine with no rain or heavy night fog. We need to wait to spray until temperatures are consistently between 75-80 degrees. Be patient and wait a few more weeks since you should only spray one time or you risk damaging your lawn.

Check out our February Garden Guide for more tips!

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