February Gardening To-Do List
So it’s February. Not the ideal time to be outside in the garden. Sure…there are pockets of time you could enjoy being outside, but nothing’s really growing … and the weather isn’t typically cooperating. But February is the perfect month to get ready for what’s just around the corner. Spring!
So here’s what I have on my February Gardening To-Do List.
Prep my raised beds
Not surprisingly, my raised beds are looking a bit sad right now. There are some nasty looking remnants from my winter garden … and a few weeds that have popped up among the pine needles and pinecones that have accumulated over the winter months. And Sally the Scarecrow is looking a bit bedraggled. So this month … not only am I going to clean things up and give Sally a costume refresh, I’m also going to go ahead and amend in some rich organic compost.
Plan for my spring/summer veggie garden…and buy seeds
Every year we have some must-haves in our veggie garden … tomatoes, cukes, peppers, eggplant, squash, etc. But we also try to add some new veggies into the mix…to not only see what we might like, but also to see what grows well in our garden. So Britt, the girls and I are going sit down this month to come up with our list for this year’s spring/summer garden. Then I’ll map out what I want to grow where.
For those veggies I want to start from seed, I’ll usually buy seeds from my local garden store or online … and my go-to is typically Burpee because they typically have what I’m looking for. But there are a ton of other sites and catalogs you could choose from.
Also, here’s a great resource on the Farmer’s Almanac that you might find handy when planning your veggie garden. All you have to do is enter your zip code … and (Note, unfortunately there are some veggies that I’m already past the window of time to start w seeds … so I’ll have to jump to seedlings later this year. What’s available for you to start by seeds at this time depends on where you live.
Start my sugar snap pea seeds inside
We love us some sugar snap peas. One of the things we love most about having them in our garden is being able to grab a few right off the vine when we walk by for a quick healthy snack.
To get a head start on things, my buddy Josh (who wrote a post on his family veggie garden last year) has graciously gone ahead and started some sugar snap pea seeds inside for me. That way, we’ll be ready to get them in the ground as soon as we can…maximizing our sugar snap pea munching possibilities. (Thanks Josh!)
Organize my garden shed
Before spring gets in full swing, I find that February is the best time to clean and organize my garden shed. I pull everything out … everything. Then I’ll throw away or put somewhere else whatever random things I’ve shoved in there the previous year that don’t belong. I’ll give the inside of the shed a good wipe-down…and clean what else needs to be cleaned. I’ll then put everything back in. At that point I can more easily take stock of what I need for my everyday gardening needs, as well as for any special projects I have on the docket.
Clean my garden tools and sharpen my pruners & clippers
Confession time. I am awful when it comes to taking care of my tools. I’m particularly bad with my pruners and clippers. I’ll leave them outside in the rain. Use them to dig in the dirt when they’re all that’s within reach. And I rarely (almost never) sharpen them … to the point that I may as well just use a butter knife.
So this month I’m going to gather up all my tools … give them a good cleaning…and sharpen my pruners and other cutting tools. I’ll do a post when I do that…but in the meantime, here’s a link to a video I found helpful on YouTube.
Prune some of my deciduous shrubs
Once I get my pruners and clippers in tip-top shape, I’ll be ready for some winter pruning. With the leaves of my deciduous shrubs gone … exposing the plants’ branches … it’s not only easier to get at what needs pruned, it’s also easier to see what needs to be pruned – dead or dying branches, cross-branches, or small suckers at the base of the plant.
For me, that will include my Hydrangea paniculata, and H. Arborescens. This will not only encourage new growth in the spring, it will also improve the plants’ structure. But make sure you don’t prune your spring flowering shrubs…wait until after they bloom to do that (e.g., forsythia, Hydrangea macrophylla (the mophead kind), azaleas, and gardenias).
[Note, this past weekend I also did some rejuvenation pruning (pruning way back!) some of my old, overgrown, evergreen shrubs … and plan to cut back my monkey grass … and Autumn and Holly ferns – doing so before the fiddleheads emerge makes it a ton easier to do without having to work around the new growth!]
Here are some links to other February gardening to-do lists or posts that I’ve found helpful…and I thought you might as well.
- Walter Reeves’ February Calendar (particularly helpful to those of you in Georgia)
- Margaret Roach’s February Garden Chores on her awesome A Way to Garden blog
- Thompson & Morgan monthly gardening to-dos for February also does a great job helping you think through both your flower and veggie gardens.
So what’s on your February Gardening To-Do List to get ready for spring? Being a little proactive now will make things easier and much more enjoyable as March and April roll around.
Happy Garden Prepping Y’all,
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Love this! The past two weekends we’ve had some glorious days promising of spring that have been perfect for working in the garden. I have done some further pruning on abellia and hollies, trimmed my boxwoods & sarcacocca, cut back all the dead ferns to give the new growth more energy, and also the dead Lenten rose leaves. It looks so much better and the Lenten roses are popping forth with beauty and promise as is the new foliage just beginning. I know that more new growth will begin on everything very soon, and I just love this time of year with the promise and prospect, watching and waiting for resurrection. I don’t even know if it is wisest to cut back the ferns and Lenten roses, but just have always done so as it seems reasonable, yet know I should probably mulch with some pinestraw…as a freeze could affect that new growth on my precious Lenten roses; however they must be pretty hardy as I have never had a problem with loosing them. And boy do I ever need to sharpen my tools. Great to do for this next weekend, thanks!
Thanks for your comment Brenda! And I’m sure others could chime in on what works and doesn’t work for them…but if you’ve had good luck cutting things back and you enjoy it…I wouldn’t change a thing! Take care and here’s to spring getting here real soon! – D.
Not getting out to my garden yet – it’s still buried under snow. But we will be placing our seed order in the next week or two and then starting the early stuff indoors – broccoli, cabbage, onions, leeks, etc. I do the same thing as you – I like to add at least one new veggie every year. Last year was sweet corn (never had room for it before we expanded the garden last spring). This year I’m thinking I will try fennel. I’m interested to hear what your family decides to do. Have you ever grown celery? I tried it two years ago and it won a permanent spot in my garden. It may be one for you to consider.
Deb…sorry ’bout the snow. Not really an issue here in Atlanta. That said, we’re still hoping for at least 1 snow day before winter is completely behind us. No…we haven’t tried celery, maybe we’ll have to this year. I’ll definitely let you know what we decide. Take care and stay warm! D.