Monday, February 1, 2010

Things to do in the February garden

'Even if I know that tomorrow
the world would go to pieces,
I would still plant my apple tree.'
- Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), American pastor and civil rights activist

  • Make INDOOR SEEDINGS of lettuce, celery, dusty miller, pinks, ornamental peppers, lobelia, geranium, gerbera, heliotrope, petunia, and compact tomatoes suited to growing in pots and baskets.
  • CLEAN THE GARDEN of dead plant parts and debris to help reduce the incidence of insect pests and diseases.
  • As soon as the worst of wet winter weather is over set lettuce transplants out into frames or under tunneling for harvestable lettuce in April.
  • PRUNE SUMMER-FLOWERING CLEMATIS such as Jackmanii, Ernest Markham, Pink Chiffon, Gypsy Queen, Clematis tangutica (golden clematis) and C. paniculata (sweet autumn clematis).
  • SEED HARDY VEGETABLES into frames or under the protective cover of plastic tunneling. Some good choices for early feasting are spinach, corn salad, green onion, early carrots, regular and oriental radishes, bok choy, and chop suey greens (shungiku, edible or garland chrysanthemum).
  • Enclose the area over one or two RHUBARB plants with a tub, box, or upright ring of clear plastic to have tender stalks earlier than usual.
  • Take cuttings from geranium and impatiens wintered indoors for an extended collection of plants to enjoy outdoors in the summer.
  • Clean and organize the garden shed, and clean, sharpen and oil the tools.
  • Cover a few STRAWBERRY plants with glass, clear plastic tunneling or cloches for early berries. Bring potted strawberries into a greenhouse or sun porch.

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