Every first Saturday of the month, experts at Tsugawa Nursery in Woodland hold a “What to Do in the Garden” seminar specific to each particular month. On Feb. 1, they held a “What to Do in the Garden” in February seminar and discussed numerous gardening ideas and tips, including planting, fertilizing, pruning, spraying and more.
Some of these suggestions and tips can be found under “Garden Tips & Articles” on the Tsugawa Nursery website, www.tsugawanursery.com. Here are some of those tips and suggestions for “What to Do in the Garden” in February from the Tsugawa Nursery website.
Time to plant
Annual Seeds Indoors: Asters, cornflowers, dianthus, forget-me-nots, gypsophilia, larkspur, lupines, pansies, poppies and wallflowers are just a few of the seeds you can start indoors. Plant outside when the temperature ranges between 60 and 70 degrees, and in a spot that is sunny.
Peas and Sweet peas: Plant as soon as the ground is workable. Soak seeds for one day before sowing. Try to plant the first planting by Feb. 22. Run rows north and south for maximum sun. Vegetable seeds indoors: Tomatoes, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. Start indoors from seed in late February. You don’t need to sow all the seeds in a packet, most seeds will keep another year or more if they are put in a sealed jar with some powdered milk to absorb any moisture. Keep the jar in your refrigerator and change the powdered milk whenever it shows signs of too much moisture.
Fruit and shade trees: Plant these when there is enough of a dry spell so the soil doesn’t pack around the roots when you plant. Dig a large hole that is at least a foot wider than the root spread. In the bottom of the hole mix in one cup of bone meal and some planting compost with the soil. To help insure good root growth, water your plant in with Fertilome Root Stimulator.
Roses and shrubs: Plant bare root plants before they bud out if at all possible. Add one-half to one cup of bone meal and planting compost to the hole and mix in with soil. Water in well with Fertilome Root Stimulator.
Asparagus: Late this month or in March, dig a trench that is one foot deep and one foot wide. Fill with two to three inches of well-rotted manure or compost. Sprinkle in fertilizer; two pounds per 25-foot row. Mix soil to the height of six inches. Put root clusters on top of a mound of soil, spread roots down over the mound. Space roots 12-18 inches apart. Cover crowns two inches deep. As plants grow, fill the soil in around them until the trench is level with the surrounding ground. Don’t cut any asparagus this year. The second spring you can cut a few, but stop when the spears are less than one half inch in diameter. To harvest the third spring, use a sharp knife and make a diagonal slice at ground level, cutting down into the loose topsoil.
Time to fertilize
Geraniums: If you started cuttings last fall, give them a solution of half strength liquid fertilizer.
Hydrangeas: Once all danger of hard frost is over (Washington’s Birthday is usually a good time) it is time to fertilizer. For blue hydrangeas, use aluminum sulphate to make soil acidic. For pink hydrangeas, add lime. Fertilizers shouldbe mixed in with the soil. Add a little lime at a time, as too much will cause leaf mottling.
Fruit and shade trees: Put fertilizer near the drip line, or spread a layer of compost 6 inches deep around each tree. Keep it one foot from the trunk.
Berry plants: Use a 10-10-5 fertilizer, or give plants a good layer of compost.
Time to prune
Roses: If you have not pruned yet this year, cut back bush types by about one-third, concentrating on crossing branches and old, unproductive canes. On climbers, remove old, unproductive wood and cut back all laterals that flowered last year to two or three buds.
Hydrangeas: As soon as danger of a hard frost is through, cut out brittle old canes. Cut other limbs back to just above a new growth bud, if plants need to be limited in size.
Summer-blooming plants: (Rose of Sharon, Butterfly bush, etc.). Remove all wood that bloomed last year and one third of the weakest and twiggiest remaining growth to limit the size.
Trees: Last month to prune out large branches in trees, before they come out of dormancy. Do not prune large branches when sap has started to rise and buds are swollen.
Berry bushes: Thin and remove last year’s producing vines or canes, if you haven’t done so.
Grapes: Prune now, the earlier the better. The fruit is borne near the beginning of shoots which will develop during the present season. These shoots come from last year’s growth. The main stem should retain 2-6 canes which grew last year.
Root prune: Root prune around plants you plan to move next fall. Cut the roots with a sharp shovel around 2/3 of the plant. Shovel should be inserted at or just within the drip line of the plant.
Spray for insects and diseases
Fruit Trees: (Peach trees are the exception). Dormant spraying should be completed by the end of this month. Oil based spray should only be applied when temperature are above 40 degrees with no chance of freezing. They also work best if it doesn’t rain within 24 hours.
Filberts: This is their pollination time, so keep the spray away.
Tent Caterpillars: Dormant spraying kills eggs left from last fall, or you can look for eggs by spotting shiny rings of tiny eggs on small fruit and other trees and then removing.
Moles: Now is the time to try to get rid of them. Find the main runways by stamping on mole runs you see for several consecutive days. The ones that keep bulging up are the main ones. Then try either baiting or trapping. We recommend the Cinch Traps. Moles are distinguished from gophers by the mounds that show no exit holes; gophers leave holes.
Spring indoors: Take switches that you pruned from your forsythia and flowering quince, and put them in water. They will bloom indoors.