DELMARVA ALMANAC

February Garden Planner

by Scott Duncan

One way to beat the cold weather blues is to dream about your garden or tend to your houseplants. In this month's planner Scott Duncan gives you some helpful tips about what you can be doing this month.

1.During February keep an eye on your houseplants. Pinch them back before they become leggy. Water them when their soil is no longer damp to the touch. And, keep them away from temperature extremes like heaters or cold drafty windows.

2.Now is a good time to get your garden plan well under way. Draw a map of your garden beds and plan where you want to put what plants.

3.If you are going to start plants from seed find out how long their germination period is. Order seeds now to allow for shipping and to be ready for spring planting. (Click here for information about hardiness zones on Delmarva.)

4.Test your soil for its acidity level and nutrient deficiencies to plan for fertilizing needs before the planting season. Kits are available at most hardware stores and online. This usually involves collecting samples and mailing them off to a lab.

5.If you have well water also have your water tested for bacteria and mineral content. Your county health department may do this for you but kits are also available commercially.

6.You can start bulbs indoors now for spring blooming arrangements. Place bulbs root side down in a shallow tray of clean gravel. Keep these watered but not soggy.

7.And at the end of the month you can start to take cuttings from budding forsythia and japonica to force blooms indoors. Shave the bottom of the branch and put in a vase with fresh water. In a day or two you will enjoy some early spring cheer.

If you liked this article you might also like this one: The Basics Of Starting & Transplanting Seeds

If you have any gardening questions, please email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)