HORTICULTURAL HINTS

FEBRUARY'S HORTICULTURAL HINTS

 If you have trees or shrubs to remove, or other major work in the garden, get it done while the ground is frozen in order to prevent much more serious damage that will occur if it is done when the ground softens in the spring – usually by mid-March.  Soft ground compacted by heavy machinery will need a major reworking to make it loose enough for plants to grow well next year.  Few things are as bad for lawns or gardens as soil compaction.

 Get out and take a class!  Whether it’s on vegetable gardening or orchid growing, pruning shrubs in your yard or replacing your conventional lawn with a more environmentally sound alternative, use the time you are not gardening to become a better gardener and steward of the land. 

  Take advantage of days when it is above freezing to spray dormant oil on your fruit and nut trees.  Dormant – also called horticultural – oil is harmless to birds and bees.  It coats and smothers egg masses of damaging insects so they will not hatch and start eating the tree’s new leaves in the spring.  It must be applied on days when the temperature is above freezing and before leaves start to open, so February and March provide the best window for their use.

 On a warm day, consider a trip around your yard to refresh the anti-desiccant coating on both broad leaf (like rhododendrons) and needled evergreens that can be damaged by strong sun or drying winds over the winter.  (Wilt-Pruf and Wilt-Stop are two such products).  While we have mostly had a mild winter so far, every New Englander knows there is no guarantee harsh weather isn’t coming. 

 If you are a vegetable or flower gardener who starts your own seedlings indoors for planting later, February is the month to get ageratum, petunias, and other annual flowers started along with vegetables such as beets, leeks, lettuce and onions.  Your work now will give you a head start on a more productive garden this season.

 

 

 While this has been a low-snowfall winter thus far, that can change quickly in February.  Clear snow around small trees and shrubs to make it harder for rodents to eat the bark. On a warm day (above 40 degrees), spray deer repellents on the evergreens that the deer eat.  As they get hungrier, deer become less fussy about what’s on the menu, but a mouthful of repellent may send them to another area.

 

Deer are on the lookout for food this time of the year, and the evergreens around your home are a prime target.

 While this has been a low-snowfall winter thus far, that can change quickly in February.  Clear snow around small trees and shrubs to make it harder for rodents to eat the bark. On a warm day (above 40 degrees), spray deer repellents on the evergreens that the deer eat.  As they get hungrier, deer become less fussy about what’s on the menu, but a mouthful of repellent may send them to another area.

 

Deer are on the lookout for food this time of the year, and the evergreens around your home are a prime target.

 
Falmouth
Garden
Club

PO Box 487

Falmouth, Massachusetts 02541

  • Falmouth Garden Club FB Page

© 2020 The Falmouth Garden Club. Website Design by SA Solutions