5 Tips for Gardening In February

Gardening In February

5 Tips for Gardening In February

Written by: Kristen Mink, Cincinnati Parks Florist

Hello Park friends, what’s growin’ on? February is upon us and cabin fever has fully set in. It may be cold outside but there are a few things we can still do in the garden to prepare for a fast coming spring.

1. Sterilization

It’s not the most glamorous job, but be sure to thoroughly clean all your tools, pots, and buckets. This will prevent any possible diseases from spreading to your plants in the spring. Mix a cleaning solution of 80% warm water and 20% of an o-phenyl-phenol- and o-benzyl-p-chlorophenol-based household disinfectant such as liquid Lysol in a 5-gallon bucket. This type of household cleaner works effectively and does not corrode tools.

2. Check for Disease

Check Hellebores for Leaf Spot and remove infected or old leaves. This will help prevent the spread of disease and allow blooms to be more visible.

3. Division

Lift and divide Snowdrops still ‘in the green’ if you wish to move them or create more through division.

4. Pruning

Prune Wisteria by cutting back summer side shoots to 2 or 3 buds. Prune summer-flowering clematis towards the end of February before active growing begins. (Please note that some Species bloom only on old stems). Prune winter-flowering shrubs such as mahonia once their colorful display has finished.

5. Planning and Prepping

Now is a good time to get a comprehensive look at your garden and plan your layout for the spring and summer. You may begin to prep your beds by layering them with fleece, polythene or cloches. This will bring up soil temperature and allow you to sow seeds earlier. If you order seeds and plants through catalogs, do so now. You may also want to start building any trellises or support systems for you heavier plants. If you haven’t done your cutbacks yet, I would wait a little longer. Many species of wildlife will seek refuge from the cold in dormant landscapes. Praying Mantis egg sacks may also be hiding in the foliage and the seeds from these plants will feed our beautiful feathered friends.