Early February is a good time to work on the hardscape features of the landscape. These are the features we know are present but they are out of sight when it comes to needed work. Some just need to be relocated, other repaired and some cleaned. The weather is nice so let's get to work.
Do you know where the little ornamental rabbit or porcupine is? I stumble over mine every now and then. Most likely they are hidden under the pile of leaves or overgrowing shrubs. Now would be a good time to pull them out of the garden, clean them off and give them a new exposure.
I have a swing that needs repair too. Some of the boards are rotted and I cannot toss what is good away. It must be repaired soon. Then there are the boards cracking and sagging on the deck. Does this sound familiar? They need repair or someone is going to get hurt.
Fences, walkways, the greenhouse roof and statuary all need a treatment to remove the grungy look. I have the product for this, Wet & Forget. Just spray it on and wait. Much of the mildew and algae is going to slough off but some brushing after a few weeks could help. It all depends on how long we have waited. You can also pressure wash these items later too but let the treatment do its job for a few weeks.
- Warm weather continues the growth of most lawns: mow to control height and weeds.
- Brown patch a disease is causing yellow areas in many lawns; apply a fungicide as needed.
- Severe cold could be very damaging to lawns due to the warm weather; most should regrow.
- Cool season weeds are prevalent in many lawns; if needed spot treat with herbicides.
- Remove declining warm season weeds and add new sod or plugs.
- Crabgrass may regrow early this year; if needed apply a preventer by mid month.
- Seeding of ryegrass for a temporary lawn is over; most permanent lawns should recover soon.
- Tan to brown blades can be left or raked from lawns as growth begins.
- Mow zoysia lawns to the desired height of 2- to 2-1/2-inches before spring growth begins.
- First of the year feedings of most lawns can begin at the end of the month or early March.
- Delay feedings of centipede and zoysia lawns until they regreen for spring in April.
- Sod or plug new lawns; begin seeding after mid month.
- Till new lawn sites 4- to 6-inches deep and level the soil before planting.
- Take time to have a soil acidity test made and readjust the soil pH if needed.
- Aeration can help lawns with compacted soils, nematodes or hard to wet soils.
Vegetable & fruit gardening:
- Many fruit trees are blooming; complete normal pruning early this month.
- Cool season vegetables can be planted through early February.
- Remove declining crops to prepare for new plantings.
- Improve sandy and old garden sites with organic matter before starting new plantings.
- If the weather remains warmish, only four weeks are needed to produce a transplant from seed.
- Groom and harvest herbs to keep them producing; dry and store extras.
- Warm season vegetables planted in late February are likely to need cold protection.
- Support vining crops by tying the vines to a stake or trellis.
- Plant additional fruiting trees, shrubs and vines.
- Plant container gardens to enjoy vegetables and herbs on porches and patios.
- Pine bark fines can be used to help adjust the soil acidity for blueberry plantings.
- Feed all fruit producing trees, shrubs and vines in late February.
In the landscape:
- Remove weeds and till beds for future plantings.
- Expect plants to begin early growth if the warm weather continues in February.
- A freeze now could cause major damage; keep covers handy and your fingers crossed.
- Prune all but late winter and spring bloomers as needed.
- Reshape overgrown and out of bounds plantings including hedges.
- Only remove seed heads, small stems and suckers from crape myrtles.
- Prune ornamental grasses to within a foot or two of the ground.
- Remove declining fronds and fruiting stalks from palms; leave the good green foliage.
- Give all but climbing roses a first of the year pruning around mid month.
- Trim back out of bounds perennials; remove old flower heads and seed pods.
- Look for Florida bulbs to plant at garden centers to obtain the best selection.
- Move poinsettias to the landscape on warm days and apply a slow release fertilizer.
- Begin landscape tree, shrub and flower feedings if needed for growth and foliage color.
- Feed container gardens every other week or use a slow release fertilizer.
- Replant declining container gardens.
- Divide and transplant perennials.
- Clean lily ponds to prepare for spring growth.
Foliage and house plant care:
- Groom indoor foliage to remove old leaves, faded flowers and declining portions.
- Give Christmas and holiday cactus a bright spot in the home; water when they start to dry.
- Remove faded flowers and stalks from forced amaryllis bulbs; add the bulbs to the garden.
- Transplant pot bound plants to slightly larger containers.
- Move lanky and yellow plants into higher light.
- Trim indoor topiaries and tree like plants to control size and shape.
- Replace declining plants with new selections.
- Feed all container plantings.
Flowers: Alyssum, aster, baby's breath, bacopa, begonia, candytuft, carnation, calendula, coneflower, coreopsis, cosmos, dahlia, delphinium, dianthus, diascia, dichondra, dusty miller, false heather, four o'clock, gaillardia, gaura, gazania, geranium, gerbera, Johnny-jump-up, lobelia, million bells, nasturtium, pansy, petunia, rose, salvia, snapdragon, Stokes aster, sweet pea, and yarrow.
Vegetables: Plant through mid-month; beets, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, collards, endive, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, peas, potatoes, radishes, Swiss chard and turnips. After mid-month plant; beans, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, luffa, peppers, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes and watermelon.
Herbs: anise, basil, borage, chives, dill, fennel, lemon balm, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, sweet marjoram, tarragon, and thyme.
Bulbs: African iris, amaryllis, Amazon lily, Asiatic lily, blackberry lily, blood lily, bulbine, caladium, canna, crinum, day lily, gladiolus, gloriosa lily, Louisiana iris, society garlic, spider lily, rain lily.