What to Do in Your Garden in February

Attribution Some rights reserved by katerha

I know spring is on the way because the gardening catalogs are showing up in my mailbox. I was really intrigued to see that Burpee’s has developed a strain of corn that can be grown in a patio container. I’ll have to try that in a couple months. In the meantime, the best thing to do this month is to get ready for spring planting. Whether you have a great big yard, a deck or a window box, here are some home gardening tips for February.

Check the Structure.

Now while everything is relatively bare, take a look at the structure of your garden. Are there spaces that could use a little help from an architectural element like a trellis or a bench? Are there shrubs and plants that didn’t make it through the winter? Time to toss them into the compost heap. (If you don’t have your own, check with your city. Many parks and recreation departments will accept yard waste for compost.) Prune the trees, shrubs and plants that will be staying.
Do Your Ground Work.

Unless it’s frozen, you can start prepping your garden from new beds. Amend the soil with compost or peat moss so it will be ready for seeds and transplants in a month or two. You never want to expose tender plants to fresh compost – it will burn them. Go ahead and plant any spring flower bulbs you forgot to put in last fall. Chances are they’ll still bloom just fine when things warm up. You may want to put down snail and slug bait (pick a kind that’s pet-safe or use an eco-friendly snail baiting method). Those slimy critters love to nibble bulbs and shoots.


February is the perfect time to feed fruit trees and perennials before the spring bloom. Clean Your Tools. Beat the rush. Clean, sharpen and oil your hand tools so they’ll be ready to use in the months ahead.


Weather can be variable, even in warm southern zones. You’ll have to use your own judgment but there are some things you can plant. Broccoli, cabbage, kale, lettuce and onions tend to do well this time of year. You can start seedlings indoors for a whole bunch of warm-weather crops like tomatoes, peppers and zucchini. This is the month when you plant your bare-root roses and fruit trees, too. It’s also a good time to try growing new plants from cuttings. You can do that in a warm southern window.


If you have winter crops, pick them before they bolt and go to seed.




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