Monday, February 16, 2009

Garden Tips for February

When I go into my garden with a spade, and dig a bed, I feel such an exhilaration and health that I discover that I have been defrauding myself all this time in letting others do for me what I should have done with my own hands. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

During February on a sunny, beautiful day it's tempting to get outside and start working on your landscape. But,there are things you can do, and things that need to be saved for a later date.

Don't remove mulch yet. Leave it where it is to protect your plants. If you are in a colder zone you may even want to throw some snow on any bare areas with plants to protect them until spring. So, what can you do?

Many shade and fruit trees can be prune this time of year. You may remove any dead or damaged branches. If there are any offshoots starting near the trunk of the tree you can also remove those. Trees that have a lot of sap, such as elms, birch trees or maples should be pruned in early summer.

Forcing branches is a neat thing to do when you are dying to do some winter gardening. Branches of forsythia, pussy willow, quince, crab apples, spirea, and dogwood can be forced. Use a very sharp knife and make long, slanted cuts. Place stems in a vase of water. Keep the vase in a cool area where it won't be exposed to direct sun, and change the water every 3-4 days. Pussy willow should bloom in two weeks or less, forsythia in one to three weeks, and crab apples in a
few weeks.

We have tips for growing the dainty wishbone flower on OFL:

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