February Gardening Tips

Get started with these ideas:

Start seeds indoors

If you have space for indoor planters, start some seeds now to shorten the wait time later. Some herbs—like thyme, parsley, tarragon and sage—are great for this, as are certain members of the onion family, like chives and leeks. You can also start things like cabbage, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and other veggies to get a jumpstart on your vegetable garden.

Prepare your pots

February is the perfect time to get your plant containers ready for spring. Clean out any residual plant matter, leaves and the like still hanging around from last year, and discard any containers in poor condition. Repainting can be a great wintertime project for kids, so enlist your little ones’ help with this.

Build a bird feeder

Speaking of kids, another great wintertime project for them is building a bird feeder. Having one can be a nice addition to your yard and gives birds a safe place to enjoy a meal. Set aside a weekend afternoon—or a snow day when kids are trapped at home—to assemble your masterpiece, and enjoy bird watching for many years to come.

Fertilize

In late February, it’s common to see early signs of spring plant growth. This is a great time to fertilize certain plants. Focus on flowering bulbs, like daffodils. A little fertilizer can go a long way toward prolonging the lives of these early bloomers. But hold off on fertilizing your grass, trees or flowering shrubs; February is still a bit too chilly for these plants to start their growth cycle.

Trim deciduous trees

February is the ideal time to trim deciduous trees, like oaks, elms and sycamores. This project can be easier to accomplish without all the leaves in the way, and any major cutting will be less traumatic to the tree during its dormant phase. Note: Be careful to NOT prune spring flowering trees though. Trimming a deciduous tree that flowers in spring will remove the bud, and thus any blooms come spring.