Rainfall and Temperatures:
The average rainfall for February is 5.01
inches. The average maximum temperature is 48 degrees F. and the minimum is 27
Among the newer gardening trends is
planting more drought-resistant plants, given the recent years of drought.
Also, try using more succulents, especially in rocky, dry areas.
Itís time to prune fruit trees and all
dormant bushes and ornamental grasses. Prune hydrangeas during the last week of
the month. After pruning, dispose of clippings to prevent disease or insect
spread. Leave the trimming of flowering bushes until they have bloomed out.
Force spring-blooming shrubs to bloom indoors by cutting stems when buds begin
to swell. Place the cuttings in water indoors in a sunny window. Warmer
temperatures will stimulate blooming. This works well for forsythia, flowering
quince, pussy willow or fruit trees.
Plant cold weather annuals like
nasturtiums, pansies, violas, snapdragons, English daisies, sweet William,
gazanias and calendulas.
Fertilize trees, shrubs and evergreens
from mid to late February. Use an acid-type fertilizer to feed evergreens,
conifers, and broad leaf evergreens. Use an all-purpose fertilizer to feed roses
and other deciduous trees and shrubs. If you use dry fertilizers, be sure to
Prune and shape deciduous vines such as
Divide and move most perennials. This can
be done until they begin to show new growth.
If you plan to grow your own annuals, such
as ageratum, verbena, petunia, vinca or other slow-growing plants, start the
seeds indoors this month.
Plant rhubarb, horseradish, asparagus and
Start cold-weather vegetables such as
broccoli, cauliflower, onion sets, English peas, kale, carrots, collards, beets,
radishes, kohlrabi and Chinese cabbage in cold frames.
Start herb seeds indoors.
Till the vegetable garden (if weather
permits). This allows the weather to help you break up the dirt clods. Compost
from last year can be tilled in at this time.
Are there deer in your neighborhood?
Plants they tend to avoid are: ageratum, snapdragons, basil, rosemary, coleus,
daffodils, hyacinths, Christmas fern, lily of the valley, vinca minor,
ornamental grasses (except that sometimes they bed down in them), boxwoods,
barberry (except for golden barberry which they especially like), mahonia,
pieris, buddleia, Chinese hollies, large junipers and trees including American
holly and blue spruce.
Comfortable weather-resistant outdoor
garden furniture has taken great strides, allowing homeowners a chance to spend
more time outside where they can enjoy their gardens, and this is a good thing.
Remember the birds Ė suet is important
to keep their little bodies warm, and seed is also important when they canít
find anything to eat through the snow. Besides
that, they are fun to watch.
Some birds, depending on the temperatures, will begin to look for nesting sites.
This is a good time to look for information on birdhouses. Wrens and finches
tend to look for smaller opening houses than other birds that nest in our area.
Keep binoculars near your windows and find a good bird identification book. Put
up new birdhouses and clean old nests out of the ones left from last year. If
squirrels have enlarged the holes and taken over, it is best to throw the house
away, or craft a new hole in a block of wood and superimpose it over the old
hole. Change the location of houses if you havenít been attracting the birds
you wish, until you find by trial and error the best places. Birds you may see
in February are:
Red-bellied woodpecker, Red-headed
woodpecker, Hairy woodpecker, Downy woodpecker, Pileated woodpecker, Ruddy duck,
Muscovy duck, Mallard duck, Bufflehead, Canada goose, American goldfinch, Song
sparrow, Carolina wren, Tufted titmouse, Northern junco, White-breasted
nuthatch, Mourning dove, Carolina chickadee, Eastern bluebird, Red-tailed hawk,
Sharp-shinned hawk, American crow, Purple finch, Northern mockingbird, Rusty
blackbird, Northern cardinal, American robin, Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) warbler,
Sandhill crane migrating, Cedar waxwing, Pine sisken, American bald eagle, Blue
jay, Starling, Meadow lark, Rufous-sided towhee, White-throated sparrow,
Red-winged blackbird, Grackle, Turkey vulture, Fox sparrow, Cowbird, and Field
Daffodils, Lenten Roses and Primroses
will be in bloom this month.
This information has been created by the Cumberland County Master Gardeners Association, Crossville TN