Spokane County Extension

Garden - Lawn - Landscape


February


Repot houseplants this month. Provide them with as much sunlight and fresh air as possible. Check for disease and insects. A good cleaning under a soft spray of water from the sink or bathtub faucet will do wonders. Cut back leggy or straggly plants. Slowly increase water and begin fertilizing in late February or as soon as you see some new growth.

If the weather is mild, conditions for peach leaf curl disease development may be right. This fungus disease curls, distorts and reddens leaves and can affect peach trees as soon as buds start swelling. Use sprays of lime sulfur or fungicide now. You’re your local Extension office for specific information if you are concerned about this disease. By late spring or early summer when symptoms are evident the fungicide sprays will be ineffective.

Don't apply an oil spray during freezing weather; it can injure plants, especially evergreens. On fruit trees the best time to apply oil sprays is just before the buds are ready to open.

You can still do some winter pruning of fruit trees and/or deciduous hedges if conditions are appropriate. Remove blown-in leaves and debris from your yard and from around shrubs to minimize diseases. Birches bent from heavy snow loads should be righted as soon as possible.

 

 

If you have fluorescent lights available, you can start parsley, onion seeds, head lettuce, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, most herbs and cool season flowers (like pansies and alyssum) now so they will be good-sized by spring planting. You can also start petunias and seed geraniums. Perennials like aubrieta, arabis, basket of gold, and dianthus are easy to grow from seed and it is much cheaper than buying transplants.

If you want three-foot tomato transplants in June, now is the time to start them indoors. They can be started as late as April but they will not be the big, healthy specimens you will have if you seed them now.

When starting plants indoors, remember that warm (but not hot) locations encourage best germination. Avoid placing starts in direct sun next to windows. A sterile seeding mix will get your new plants off to a good start.

Add manure or compost to your garden as soon as the soil is workable. This allows time for salts to leach out and ammonia to dissipate before it is time to plant.

Start a garden notebook or computer log and vow to use it all year. You will be amazed at how much the information from this year will benefit next year. Write down which perennials bloom together and how long they bloom. Start planning planting schedules for vegetables and annuals.

 

 

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WSU Extension Spokane County , 222 N Havana, Spokane WA   99202-4799, 509-477-2048, Contact Us