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The month of February delivers unpredictable weather, but fortunately there are always plenty of sun breaks! Be ready to jump in the garden when conditions are right to refresh color or add some fragrant plants to key locations and entryways. Mid-February is the time to do some serious pruning and start lawn renovations.

February To Do List in the Garden

Seasonal Color

Bring easy color to porch and walkway: Freshen up window boxes and flowerpots with Primroses, Violas and/or Pansies, Hellebores, and potted Spring bulbs like Crocus, Daffodils, and Snowdrops. Make sure plants under porch and eaves receive occasional watering.

Add fragrance with winter-blooming Daphne odora, Sarcococca (Sweet Box), or Evergreen Clematis vine.

Planting & Maintenance

Plant Roses and Fruit Trees.

Fertilize Spring-blooming bulbs as they come up with G&B All Purpose Fertilizer or Bone Meal.

Use a dormant spray for pest and disease control on Roses, Fruit Trees, Dogwoods, and other deciduous trees and shrubs that struggled last season.

Prune (mid to late month) Roses, Summer-blooming deciduous Clematis, Blueberries, Fall-bearing Raspberries, Fruit Trees, and Twig Dogwoods. Cut back dormant Ornamental Grasses and old foliage on Hellebores, Epimediums, and Sword Ferns.

Edible Gardening

Sow seeds indoors: Broccoli, Brussel’s Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower

Plant seeds outside: Edible Peas, Sweet Peas (when soil temperature reaches 40–45°F; use a soil thermometer)

Plant fruit and veggie starts: Asparagus, Cane Berries, Grapes, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Fruit Trees

Till and turn under cover crops and level soil at least 2–3 weeks before planting spring crops, weather permitting.

Maintain slug control: Stay vigilant! Apply Sluggo or Slug Magic every 3–4 weeks to reduce population size and protect tender new growth as it emerges.

February Lawn Care

Aerate lawns to improve movement of water and air through the soil and overseed across the whole lawn to reinvigorate your grass. Add extra seed in thin patches.

Apply lime and iron if needed, and fertilize as the weather warms.

Control moss growing in shady areas of the lawn with Lily Miller Moss Out or Bonide MossMax.

Organizing the Garden Shed

Keep a supply of frost blankets, burlap, or row covers easily accessible for last-minute plant protection in case of a cold spell. Landscape staples, clothespins, or binder clips are useful to keep covers in place.

Inspect garden tools, especially pruners—clean, sharpen, and apply Camellia Oil to condition blades and prevent rust. Replace worn-out blades or rusty springs on Felco pruners; replacement parts are available at our Garden Centers.

Take inventory of fertilizers and chemicals and use oldest product up first. Make a list of products needed for Spring.

Indoor Gardening in February

Repot and/or refresh soil (March is the start of the active growing season for houseplants)—break up the top layer with a fork or similar tool, add a thin layer of new soil or worm castings, and top dress with a fine layer of fresh potting soil.

Avoid overwatering; water repotted plants cautiously. Wipe down leaves with mild soapy water or neem oil. Clean outsides of containers and drainage saucers.

What to Do for Fun in February

Pot up and bring blooming Primroses or Cyclamen into the house to add a bit of cheer and fragrance (yellow Primroses and white Cyclamen have the sweetest smells).

Get some fresh air! To chase away the winter blues, take a walk or visit local public gardens for inspiration. Portland-area gardens have a lot to offer, even in their quiet months. Call ahead or check websites for open hours and admission guidelines:

View the garden tips and checklist for March in the Garden. Or go back and view the tips and checklist for January in the Garden.

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