Sunday, January 30, 2011

February Garden Tips from Maryland Extension

Here are some Garden Tips for February from the Maryland Extension System Home and Garden Center.

Lawns

• Late February through the end of March is the second best time (the optimum time is late August through mid-October) to over-seed your lawn to make it thicker or to cover bare areas. The freezing and thawing of the soil this time of the year helps the seed to get good soil contact. Read HG 102.  

Woody Ornamentals

• Trees and shrubs can still be pruned now. You may notice excessive sap bleeding from pruning cuts on elm maple, birch, dogwood, beech, walnut, magnolia, tulip poplar and redbud. This bleeding is harmless to the tree.  

Ornamental Plants

• Avoid the temptation to start seeds too early. Check seed packets for detailed information on starting various types of flowers.

• Spring bulbs are slowly emerging this month. Exposed leaves may be burned a little by very cold temperatures, but the spring flower display will not be diminished.  

Vegetable and Herb gardening

• If starting seeds indoors, set up florescent grow lights, and gather needed materials: pots, trays, soil less mix.

• Consider purchasing some floating row cover material to protect crops against insects and promote early growth. A floating row cover is a light weight spun fabric that permits light and water to enter, traps the soils natural heat and keep out pest insects.

• Fresh tarragon, rosemary, and mint sprigs can be purchased in food markets and rooted indoors in a soil less mix to be grown under cool white fluorescent bulbs. The new plants can then be set outdoors in pots or garden beds in May. Wildlife

• Continue to feed wild birds through the remaining winter weeks. Black oil sunflower seeds and suet cakes are a good choice for a wide variety of birds. Keep bird feeders clean and provide your wild birds with fresh water.

For more February Tips for the garden and other practical information, download the complete newsletter.

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