February Gardening To Do List

Zone 1

  • Order fruit and vegetable seeds, roses, bare-root trees and shrubs.
  • Check potted or container-planted bulbs for signs of growth.
  • Bring in pots of crocus and bulbous iris if leaves have formed.
  • Cut branches of pussy willow, flowering quince, forsythia to force indoors if buds are beginning to swell.
  • Freshen house plants with sprays or shower bath.
  • Sow seeds of cool-weather vegetables indoors.
  • Sow seeds of hardy perennials indoors.

Zone 2

  • Cut back on feeding houseplants. (do not feed dormant houseplants)
  • Water cymbidiums weekly until they bloom.
  • Sow seeds indoors for tender perennials.

Zone 3

Check for winter sales at your local garden center; it is a good time to find deals on pots, planters, and tools.

  • Order seeds.
  • Organize the seed packets you have on hand according to planting date.
  • Replace bulbs in grow lights that are more than 2 years old.
  • Cut back on feeding houseplants. (do not feed dormant houseplants)
  • Water cymbidiums weekly until they bloom.
  • Grow an indoor crop of leaf lettuce under lights.
  • Check stored gladiolus and dahlia bulbs; remove any that have deteriorated.
  • Sow seeds in greenhouse or indoors for tender perennials.
  • Remove geranium and fuchsia plants from cold storage, repot, water, and move them into light to restart their growth.

Zone 4

Look forward to spring and force indoor blooms! Cut branches or gather prunings from fruit trees, lilacs, and forsythia. Put them in a vase with water, and enjoy flowers in a few weeks.

  • Order seeds.
  • Sow seeds indoors for hardy spring-blooming plants.
  • Cut back on feeding houseplants. (do not feed dormant houseplants)
  • Start seeds of slow growers—such as pansies, onions, leeks, and celery under lights this month.
  • Sow seeds for cool-weather vegetables.
  • If your ground is not frozen, sow a bit of spinach and radish outdoors under row covers.
  • Grow an indoor crop of leaf lettuce under lights.
  • Sow frost-tolerant perennials indoors.

Zone 5

  • Order seeds.
  • Sow seeds for hardy spring-blooming plants.
  • Cut back on feeding houseplants. (do not feed dormant houseplants)
  • Sow seeds for cool-weather vegetables.
  • Sharpen pruning shears and use them to prune fruit trees, brambles, grapevines, and late summer–blooming shrubs.
  • Sow frost-tolerant perennials indoors.
  • If winter has been mild, transplant trees, shrubs, and roses.
  • Wash off the dust of a dry indoor winter on your houseplants, give them a shower in the bathroom.

Zone 6

Now is the time you've looked forward to all winter! Near the end of the month, start cruciferous seeds, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale indoors under light.

  • There is still time to order seeds for spring planting.
  • Sow seeds of warm-season annuals.
  • Sow seeds for hardy spring-blooming plants.
  • Cut back on feeding houseplants. (do not feed dormant houseplants)
  • Sow seeds for cool-weather vegetables.
  • Sow frost-tolerant perennials indoors.

Zone 7

There is an old custom, "When daffodils 'pop', it is time to plant seeds of spinach, turnips, and peas."

  • Plant cool-season annual edibles and perennial herbs outdoors. These include seedlings you've started indoors or purchased at a garden center: parsley, cilantro, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, and Brussels sprouts.
  • Start seeds indoors as desired. Most vegetable and annual flower seeds should be started six to eight weeks before your region's last average frost date -- and for most of the Midwest, that means starting seeds now. Check package directions for suggested timing, however.
  • Plant cool-season flowers. About six to eight weeks before your region's last average frost date, you can put in pansies, violas, lobelia, snapdragons and other cool-season flowers. They thrive in cool weather and tolerate frosts well. They're especially good in pots.
  • Order seeds this week, because it's time to begin planting, both outdoors and in.
  • Sow seeds of warm-season annuals indoors.
  • In the garden, sow seeds of radishes and cold-hardy lettuces.
  • Plant ornamental trees.
  • Start herb seeds indoors under lights.
  • Also indoors, start seeds of annual flowers like ageratum, petunia, and snapdragons that need 8 to 10 weeks to reach transplant size.
  • Remove mulch from strawberries when growth begins.
  • Cover the pea bed with clear plastic until sprouts begin to emerge; then, immediately switch to a floating row cover to protect the seedlings from weather and birds.
  • Prune flowering fruit trees while in bloom.
  • Prune winter-flowering shrubs and vines after bloom
  • Sow seeds of warm-season vegetables indoors.
  • Sow seeds for hardy spring-blooming annuals.
  • Plant or transplant cool-season vegetable seedlings.

Zone 8

Feed your soil by applying compost to plantings throughout your landscape: trees, shrubs, lawn, and all garden beds.

  • Begin sowing seeds of leaf lettuces, collards, and other greens outdoors; for continuous harvest, repeat sowings every 2 weeks.
  • Sow seeds of warm-season annuals indoors.
  • Set out cool-season annuals.
  • By the third week of February, plant potatoes in warm soil.
  • Plant fruit trees.
  • Apply dormant spray to fruit trees.
  • Spray for peach leaf curl, peach leaf blight, and canker
  • Cut back on feeding houseplants. (do not feed dormant houseplants)
  • Plant or repair warm-season lawns.
  • Plant ornamental grasses.
  • Plant or transplant frost-tolerant perennials.
  • Sow seeds for tender perennials indoors.
  • Plant bare-root roses.
  • Apply dormant spray to roses.
  • Plant bare-root trees, shrubs, and vines.
  • Prune winter-blooming shrubs and vines just after bloom.
  • Prune fruit trees, then spray them at their "pink bud" stage with either a copper or lime-sulfur solution if you've had trouble with foliar and fruit diseases.
  • Plant bare-root perennial vegetables.
  • Plant seedlings of cool-season vegetables.
  • Sow seeds for cool- and warm-season vegetables.
  • Protect tender plants from frost.

Zone 9

Build you soil! During dry spells, dig in composted manure and garden waste; turn under cover crops, such as annual rye, vetch, and clover.

  • Sow seeds for hardy spring-blooming annuals.
  • Sow seeds of warm-season annuals indoors.
  • Start seeds of "can't live without" summer vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, indoors under lights.
  • Also indoors, start seeds of flowers that are slow to develop, such as lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum), wax begonias, petunias, and geraniums.
  • Plant summer-flowering bulbs.
  • Repot cacti and succulents, if essential, once they have finished blooming.
  • Plant bare-root fruit trees, roses, shrubs, vines, and perennial vegetables. (Next month it may be too hot!)
  • Apply dormant spray to fruit trees.
  • Spray for peach leaf curl, peach leaf blight, and canker.
  • Plant citrus.
  • Plant dahlia bulbs and begonia tubers.
  • Repair or plant lawns.
  • Plant or transplant frost-tolerant perennials outdoors.
  • Sow seeds for tender perennials indoors.
  • Prune deciduous trees.
  • Prune winter-flowering shrubs and vines just after bloom.
  • Direct-seed radishes, spinach, carrots, peas, onions, and cabbage family (cruciferous) vegetables.
  • Sow seeds for cool-season or winter vegetables.
  • Sow seeds for warm-season vegetables indoors.

Zone 10

Celebrate winter's end by filling window boxes and planters with cold-hardy snapdragons and stocks (Matthiola incana).

  • Sow seeds for warm-season annuals.
  • Set out seedlings of warm-season annuals.
  • Set out summer-flowering bulbs.
  • Repot cacti and succulents, if essential, once they have finished blooming.
  • Plant bare-root fruit trees.
  • Prune flowering fruit trees while in bloom.
  • Spray for peach leaf curl, peach leaf blight, and canker.
  • Plant citrus.
  • Protect citrus from frost damage.
  • Feed houseplants that are growing or blooming.
  • Plant bare-root roses, shrubs, vines, and trees.
  • Plant seeds of corn and cucumbers in the garden, but be prepared to protect them from a surprise frost.
  • Set out transplants of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants; be prepared to protect them from frost and, as the weather warms, from intense sunlight.
  • Prune evergreen shrubs.
  • Start southern favorites, such as okra, southern peas, and sweet potatoes.
  • Lubber grasshoppers hatch this month: Spread Semaspore around the perimeter of your property and on their favorite foods—amaryllis (Hippeastrum spp.), tuberoses (Polianthes tuberosa), rain lilies (Zephyranthes spp.), and crinum lilies (Crinum spp.).
  • Prune winter-flowering shrubs and vines after bloom.
  • Plant or transplant cool-season vegetable seedlings.
  • Sow warm-season vegetable seeds.
  • Transplant warm-season vegetable seedlings.

Zone 11

  • Sow seed of summer annuals indoors
  • Sow seeds of hardy vegetables indoors
  • Improve soil by spading in humus
  • Plant bare-root trees, shrubs, vines, roses
  • Be ready to shelter tender plants against frost
  • Finish dormant spraying
"There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments."
-- Janet Kilburn Phillips
     

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