February Gardening Chores

Pressure is on so if you haven’t made a dent in your reading pile, get a start, spring is only two months away.

  • Get catalogs with plant descriptions and good photographs so you can use them for reference. Some to review: Missouri Wildflowers Catalog (mowildflowers.net) and for heirloom seeds, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (www.rareseeds.com). Both are Missouri nurseries.
  • For a great Native Plant Guide, try the Prairie Moon Native Plants Guide. This catalog offers North American Native seeds, wildflowers, plants and great how to guides (prairiemoon.com/catalog-request.html).
  • Review last year’s garden diary entries. Mark down what you want to do this year. This is a good time to dream.
  • Focus on adding native plants. Once established, they will be low care, tend to require less water than other non-native plants, and they will feed the native pollinators.
  • On warm days, remember to water mums planted last year. New mums need a gallon of water a month to keep their roots moist their first year. Once established, mums will come back every year on their own.
  • Remove broken limbs in pathways to keep walkways clear and safe.
  • Pile mulch and leaves on garden beds no more than ten inches, if they’ve been blown off by winter winds.
  • Check inside plants for hitchhiking bugs and remove. Make sure they are getting their sunlight needs met. If not, move them. Water with diluted fertilizer. Prune as necessary.
  • Drop your garden pruners and other garden tools off to get sharpened. This is a slow time of year and this will give you a head start on the season.
  • When feeding birds, add a little sand in the birdfeeder mix. Birds need sand to help them digest seeds. Also ensure they have an available unfrozen water source.

Charlotte Ekker Wiggins is a gardener, beekeeper, and sometimes cook.  For more, visit gardeningcharlotte.com. Published by Kaleidoscope Weekly with permission. Copyright 2018, all rights reserved. This column may not be copied, published, reprinted, rewritten, or redistributed. Contact Charlotte at gardeningcharlotte@gmail.com.

February is also a good month to go through your seed stash and check for dates to make sure seeds are still viable. Flower seeds tend to be good for two to three years; some vegetables are good for up to four years. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

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