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Valentine Heart
"Even if it is a garden you know by heart
there are twelve months in the year
and every month means a different garden,
and the discovery of things unexpected
all the rest of the year."
~ Margery Fish from We Made a Garden, 1956

jan | feb | mar | apr | may | jun | jul | aug | sep | oct | nov | dec

• Think safety - If you have a stacked stone border, re-shim and re-stack fallen rocks; Stabilize and level wobbly stepping stones; Rake smooth and tamp firm Mole Tunnels or other tripping hazards.

• Apply Dormant Spray to trees, shrubs, roses, and the perennial border during first two weeks of the month before leaf buds pop. This is the most important spray of the year. Note: do not use oil spray on sugar or Japanese maple, walnut, beech, or magnolia trees.

• Force branches of Forsythia, contorted Filbert, Star Magnolia, Flowering Quince and other spring-flowering shrubs.

• Sow seeds of cool-season flowers and veggies outdoors.

• Continue winter sowing seed from perennials and other plants that self-sow readily in this zone.

• If you haven’t already, prune bush berries such as blackberries, raspberries, and dewberries. Any canes that bore fruit last year should be removed as should weak, spindly growth.

• Inspect bird houses; Clean and refill bird feeders; Clean birdbaths.

• Propagate cuttings of woody plants. Make cuttings about 8 – inches long, putting at least two buds underground. Use 1/3 each of perlite, sand, and soil.

• Prune shrubs and trees except those that flower on last-year's growth.

• Repot and start fertilizing non-hardy plants such as geraniums, coleus, or begonias that you’ve been overwintering indoors to force new growth for cuttings.

• Now that bulb foliage has emerged, map your bulb locations.

• Check the depth of your mulch and add more if needed

• We frequently have a cold snap on or near the full moon. Plant when the ground is not frozen.

• Valentine's Day - better known to MidSouth gardeners as Mulch, Fertilize, and Prune Day. Plant a kiss on your sweetie for putting up with your gardening obsession!

• Finish pruning deciduous trees and shrubs. Prune dormant (nonflowering) trees and shrubs before buds swell, but do not prune if the wood is frozen.A tip from Paul James… Before making pruning cuts, mark branches you think you want to remove with string or ribbon, then wait a few days before making cuts you might later regret.

• Prune evergreens for size and shape control. It is important to get this done before the new growth comes out. Prune off holly berries to promote blooming for new berries. Cut ornamental grasses back to 6 inches or so.

• Cut perennials almost to the ground; Don’t cut lavender or other Mediterranean plants

• Plant dormant trees including Dogwood & Magnolia, shrubs including Roses and Holly, and vines including Clematis; plant Roses as soon after the 15th as possible - this applies to planting new ones and moving old ones

• Prune summer-flowering shrubs and trees. Do Not prune spring-flowering shrubs until after they finish blooming or you will cut off flower buds. Do not prune Roses until the Forsythias flower later this month or in March.

• Prune grape vines back to three or four healthy side buds on last year’s wood.

• Plant dormant perennials including asparagus in the vegetable garden. Do not plant any greenhouse-grown flowers which would be damaged by freezes or heavy frosts.

• Dig up and divide emerging perennials

• Apply ground limestone to fescue lawns and vegetable gardens. Be very careful not to apply it where acid-loving perennial shrubs such as azaleas are growing.

• Scrub clay pots; Clean tools; get mowers and other power equipment ready for spring chores.

• Remove leaves from the bottom of ponds or water features

• Clean gutters

• Move to another location or pot up suckers from stoloniferous (suckering) plants such as Itea, Forsythia, etc.

• Forsythia is an indicator plant. Its bloom indicates that the soil temperature is above 45 degrees, and the roots are active. Prune roses, fertilize trees, lawns and shrubs (except for those that bloom in the spring) when it is in bloom. Apply top-dressing of cottonseed meal or milorganite to Roses under a generous layer of compost or composted manure.

Monthly To Do Lists

jan | feb | mar | apr | may | jun | jul | aug | sep | oct | nov | dec

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