February Gardening Checklist
Last chance before March activity
February is cold and dreary in many parts of the country, but it's important
to do as much preparatory work as you can this month, because once March comes
you'll have dozens of garden chores that seemingly need to be done all at once.
- Make sure all your tools have been cleaned, sharpened, and are ready
to go. There is nothing quite as vexing as having a perfectly good
weekend opportunity to mow the lawn only to discover that the blades are dull
or it otherwise needs service. It's your last best chance to get your implements
in prime working order this month. Waiting could result in longer wait times
as other procrastinators discover the same thing.
- It's a good time to inventory your supplies including seeds
too. Seeds, if kept dry and cool, will often be just as good as they were
last year. Use them up, but don't rely on them.
- Now is the time to build the trellis for your indeterminate tomatoes, squash,
and gourds, so purchase materials this month.
- Have you made your plan of what you want to grow this year?
- If you plan to start from seed, have you ordered your seeds?
- Set up flats for starting seeds. Full spectrum lighting
and a heat mat can facilitate growing a variety of annuals, perennials, and
vegetables for this year's garden.
- Do you want to add arbors or other support structures? Order
now to have them delivered before your plants go in the ground.
- If you have a garage or workshop, repair and repaint garden furniture
- Once you plan your plantings, pots, and beds, you can design an
irrigation system that can save you time and money in more efficient
watering for a maximum yield.
- Prune shrubs and trees—especially fruit trees—this month if
they don't bleed (like elms and maples) or bloom early (lilacs, rhodies, and
- Destroy insect eggs before they hatch. Inspect, pick off,
and destroy without resorting to pesticides if you can.
- Prune grapes. Trim oldest wood and leave only primary stems.
Each stem should have four to six canes from last years growth.
- Build frames for new raised beds.
The Ann Lovejoy Handbook of Northwest Gardening: Natural Care and Sustainable Design
Line up extra yard help or landscaping help early. A professional lawn service
can help with some of those annual chores. ContractorNexus
can help you locate a qualified pro in your area.