Have you made a resolution for 2023 for your garden, yard or landscape? January is almost over. Check out February’s tasks and stay on track.
February can be a month of unpredictable cold (remember last February), or warm enough that fruit trees begin to bud and dormant plants show signs of spring growth. The main resources for the monthly tasks listed below are “Lone Star Gardening” by Neil Sperry and “Texas Garden Almanac” by Doug Welsh.
February planting tips
- Cool-season vegetables – plant onions and snap peas early in the month. Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and potatoes mid-month. Eat spinach, leaf lettuce, chard, carrots, radishes, turnips, beets, and other leafy and root vegetables at the end of the month. Cold-tolerant plants can be grown in containers, so they can be moved indoors when cold weather is expected and planted in the ground when the weather warms.
- Plant cool-season annuals such as pinks and snapdragons early in the month, then wait to plant larkspur, ornamental chards, petunias, poppies, stock, etc. later in the month.
- Dig and divide summer and fall flowering perennials, such as mallow, canna, fall asters, and salvia, before they begin to grow in the second half of the month.
- Native trees and shrubs that need to be moved to a new location can be moved this month. Collect as much of the root system and soil as possible and replant to the same depth, removing 40% to 50% of the top growth as part of the root system is lost.
- Plant the fruit trees, grapes and berries recommended for this area. Prune 50% after planting to get off to a good start.
Pruning in February
- Prune groundcovers such as Asian jasmine, Mondgrass, and Liliope. At the beginning of the month, it can be cut to 4-5 inches with a line trimmer or mower.
- Prune and shape evergreen shrubs. Use pruning shears and hand pruners for a more natural looking result.
- Prune Nanten. Cut the tallest canes to the ground, leaving a few short stems for the plant to return to compact growth.
- Remove damaged or unwanted branches from summer flowering shrubs and vines.
- Do not top with crape myrtle to reduce height. Previously topped plants can be cut to the ground and retrained.
- Prune peach and plum trees early in the month before the buds begin to swell. Keep it 10-12 inches tall and 15-18 inches wide.
- Pruning roses for Valentine’s Day.
- Scalp the lawn at the end of the month. Lower the mower blades a notch or two and bag the cuts to use as compost or mulch.
what to eat in february
- Transplanted new trees and shrubs.
- Wait until the end of the month for cool season sod, but wait until April for warm season sod.
- Cool season colored plants every 2-3 weeks to maintain plant growth and flowering.
- Make sure your irrigation system is working properly. Call the experts to fix the problem before the spring rush.
- Check your mowers and trimmers to make sure they’re ready for spring. Repair or tune it now for immediate use.
- Keep indoor plants light and watered before moving them outdoors in the spring and fall.
- If late frost or freezing is forecast, apply frost protection before it gets cold. Remove the cover when the temperature is well above freezing.
- Winter drought and windy, freezing weather are devastating to plants. If it doesn’t rain, water your lawns, landscapes, gardens, and trees at least twice this month.
- Don’t forget to provide water and food for the birds and wildlife.
It’s never too late to start planning your landscape and gardening, so check out garden magazines, botanical books, and online resources for ideas. Make sure the sources you use provide information for the state of Texas, and more specifically for the state of Texas. I like the Aggie Horticulture website (https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu) because it provides county-specific information.
February is an unpredictable month, so plan for the ups and downs of the weather. As my gardener grandmother would say, “Go outside and get some warm sunshine, but watch out for the cold. Don’t get zealous and put those seedlings out too early.”
If you have any questions, please call the Taylor County Extension Office at 325-672-6048 or email email@example.com. Please like our Facebook page and visit bcmgtx.org for Big Country Master Gardener information and events. we are here to help you!