February Gardening Tips

What is February like for growing and gardening? In the Willamette Valley we are all about planning – planning your future garden, for spring blooms, for summer fruit, and a lush warm season. For us, that typically means washing and fixing up various garden tools, amending and turning soil, getting a grip on mud control and preparing to plant!

Bare root trees and shrubs are arriving daily at garden centers and our Glenwood Corner Store nursery is already well stocked with large blueberry bushes and fruit trees that can be put in the ground right now. February planting will allow the roots to establish before spring kicks into high gear.

Seed packets are also popping up in garden centers, which means it’s time to plot out your garden beds, rotate planting locations, determine companion planting relationships and look forward to the harvest season.

 

Flower Gardens

Prune roses late this month. Prune hard Hybrid Teas, lightly for others, especially climbers. A lime sulfur dormant spray afterwards will help control disease. It’s organic, but make sure to follow instructions.

You will start to find bulbs for summer blooms (Iris and Daylily) in local garden centers.

Clematis and deciduous vines need pruning. Consult the Sunset Western Garden Book for clematis pruning if unsure of bloom time.

Prune deciduous summer blooming shrubs now. Spring bloomers are pruned after flowering. Cuttings can be forced to bloom indoors as well.

This is a good time to plant new roses. Bare root roses will be available in most garden centers.

Spring blooming bulbs are popping out of the ground right about now, so you may want to mulch around them, before they get too big.

 

Vegetable GardensRadish Sprouts

Start seeds indoors for cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Use heat for germination and bright light for growth.

Sow seeds of radishes, peas, sweet peas and cold-hardy lettuces.

Arugula, peas, and spinach seeds can germinate quickly in cool soil, especially in raised beds, so consider planting those.

Work cover crops planted last year into the garden soil. If soil is too wet, just cut or mow to control size. Excess goes onto the compost.

Seed potatoes will be arriving in garden centers! There are many varieties to choose from, including blue ones (look for Adirondack Blue or Purple Peruvian)! So along with traditional favorites, pick out a new one to try for fun.

 

Fruit Gardens

Prune fruit trees. Young trees need scaffold limb protection. Old trees need size and weight control plus space for sunlight.

Apple Tree buds

Look for bare root plants in the garden center. You will find various fruit trees as well as other, smaller fruits (strawberries and cane berries). Now is a GREAT time for planting them; the ground is soft from the rains and there’s plenty of moisture to establish a good root zone prior to Spring blooms. Be sure to do it when the temperatures are not expected to dip below freezing.

 

Prune and train grapes; make cuttings.

Prune fruit trees and blueberries.

 

Lawn Maintenance

Lawnmower tune up

 

This is a good month to fix and tune-up lawn mowers and other equipment before the lawn maintenance season arrives. A new or sharpened blade will make the chore of mowing wet grass more tolerable.

 

 

 

Various Jobs Around Your Oregon Garden

Place mulch around berries and fruit trees to protect and insulate them.

Always consider that as our climate changes; it’s harder to follow standard “plant this right now” tips. Always review ideal temperatures for germination.Garden planning software

Embrace technology! There are a number of great resources online from apps that have info about daylight hours, to planting and plotting guides.

Prune summer blooming shrubs and trees, as well as blueberries and fall-yielding raspberries.

Tend to plants that have suffered winter storm damage. With all of the ice this year, there will likely be a lot of broken branches that need to be removed. Check out our Winter Landscape First Aid for help.

Get a jump on spring planting and use a cold frame to protect your flower and vegetable starts.

 

Sources: LFP Website and OSU Extension Service