Saturday, February 15, 2020

Getting the garden started | E-Neighborhood Advisor


In February, we often see the first promise
of spring. Bulbs start popping up, the days
are getting longer and we start thinking
about our gardens. Now is the time to set
yourself up for your best growing season
yet.

February is all about prep. If the ground
isn’t frozen, you can begin to get your beds
ready. Dig up all remaining weeds and get
the soil ready for sowing. It’s also a great
time to check over your tools and
equipment so that everything is in good
working order come spring.

Thompson Morgan says pruning and tidying
are the most important tasks for the flower
garden in February:
 Prune wisteria now, cutting back
summer side-shoots to 2 or 3 buds.
 Cut back shrubs down to their bases.
 Prune summer-flowering clematis
towards the end of the month, before
active growth begins.
 Cut back the old foliage from
ornamental grasses before growth
begins. Clip them to within a few
centimeters of the ground.
 Prune overwintered fuchsias back to
one or two buds on each shoot.
 Prune winter-flowering shrubs once
their colorful display has finished.
 Remove faded flowers from winter
pansies to stop them setting seed.
This will encourage a flush of new
flowers when the weather warms up.


In Florida and other frost-free regions,
summer bulbs such as crinum, agapanthus,
dahlia, gloriosa, gladiolus, and canna can
be planted now. Site them where they will
receive at least 6 to 8 hours of direct
sunlight a day. Their only other requirement
is well-drained soil that doesn’t remain wet
and soggy after heavy rains. Mulch the
bulbs to protect them from an unexpected
cold snap and to minimize weeds. Enjoy
bulb flowers weeks earlier by purchasing
pre-sprouted plants at your local garden
center. Bulbs are a snap to grow, but some
take a while to break dormancy, so potted
plants will jumpstart the color show.

If it’s too cold to garden outdoors in
February, why not make a terrarium? Costa
Farms suggests looking for clear-glass
containers that have a lid or stopper that
will help maintain a humid atmosphere
around your plants. For plants such as
succulents that prefer a drier climate, select
a large, open-mouthed container. Then,
look for plants that remain compact. Good
choices for a moist environment include
pilea, peperomia, ivy, artillery fern, button
fern, baby tears and creeping fig. For an
open container try cactus, succulents,
hens-and-chicks, jade plant, hoya and 
bromeliad.

And don’t forget to feed the birds in
February. By late winter many natural food
sources for local birds will begin to thin out.
It’s important to keep your bird feeders fully
stocked until spring. Offer a variety of foods
to attract the widest selection of bird
species. Black oil sunflowers, for example,
draw cardinals, blue jays, juncos, and a
host of other species. Beef suet is ideal for
woodpeckers, mockingbirds, and
nuthatches. And Nyjer seed is a finch
favorite. Also, include a diverse selection of
feeders such as tube, hopper, and platform
to accommodate the feeding habits of
different bird species. During winter you can
often attract more songbirds to fresh water
than you can to food. Use a heater to keep
the water in your birdbath from freezing and
add fresh water every few days.
Your Flooring Consultant,

Matt Capell
Email: sales@capellinteriors.com
Phone (208) 288-0151
Fax (208) 917-6160

P.S. Here's a joke for you!
What did the flower say after he told a joke?
I was just pollen your leg!

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