February gardening tips

By Linda Nowak-Carlson, BriarPatch Floral Buyer

Greetings gardeners! This may be old news to some of you, but for those of you who would like to be doing something in the garden this time of year, but can’t think of something to do, here we go….! During the holidays you may have received a beautiful pot of blooming spring bulbs. If you didn’t, who knows… you might for Valentine’s Day! While those bulbs were forced to bloom out of season, most of them are perennial in our area so they can be planted outside and will bloom again next year.
After the blooms fade, cut back the flowering stem but not the foliage. Keep watering them as you would a house plant, or place them outside to take advantage of the rains. When the greens die, plant them outside, using a phosphorus fertilizer and good quality compost mixed with your native soil. Keep in mind that both gophers and deer absolutely love tulips, so you may just want to repot them in a larger container.
Speaking of Valentine’s Day, we will have a fantastic supply of wonderful cut flowers and potted plants to gift your sweetheart. The cut flower choices will include mixed bouquets and bunches of roses, tulips, and ranunculus. The potted plants will range from succulents to blooming bulbs to potted roses, along with many more unique items.
If you think nothing blooms this time of year, check out our selection of pansies, snapdragons, primrose and cyclamen. Although the perennials aren’t blooming yet, getting them planted now will provide you with healthy plants that will have great flowers this spring and summer. Just don’t work the ground when it’s too wet even though that’s a good thing, because it means it has been raining.
This is also the time of year to think about pruning your fruit trees. You want to make sure to do this before the flower buds swell, since that signals that your tree will be coming out of dormancy soon. Also, it’s not a good idea to prune when it’s too cold since the bark can crack. You want a nice clean cut.

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