Need a splash of color for the rest of the winter? Plant some winter annuals like alyssum, pansies, snapdragons, dusty miller & dianthus or cold hardy perennials like Gazania. Roses are in bloom too! Add some Knock Out Roses or Drift Roses to your garden for year round color. By the third or fourth week of February, if no more cold weather is predicted, we will bring in many spring and summer blooming perennials and annuals. Always remember to incorporate mushroom compost or black cow manure into your soil to enrich it. Flowers, roses, and azaleas do not like sand! Fertilize blooming plants with 6-8-10 slow release bloomer.
If you are a Vegetable gardener, you can still plant beets, broccoli, cabbage, collards, cauliflower, carrots, celery & lettuce. These plants will tolerate temperatures slightly below freezing but protect below 28 degrees. Cold hardy herbs can be planted as well- such as dill, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme. By the end of February, you can start your vegetable container gardens- tomatoes and peppers will start appearing toward the end of February or early March. If you want a great reusable container for herbs and vegetables- consider investing in an EarthBox. They work wonderfully for any type of vegetable or herb. Replant kits can be purchased for those customers who already have EarthBoxes.
Citrus and fruit trees need to be fertilized this month to ensure an abundance of blooms and growth. If you have had previous problems with scab disease or fungus disease, now is the time to apply copper fungicide when the new leaves are appearing and again when two-thirds of the flower blossoms have fallen.
If you have had a problem in the past with a small amount of blooms producing fruit here are some things to check:
A. Nutrition- are you using the right product in sufficient quantities?
B. Irrigation- do you have spray heads that hit your tree directly? This will knock flowers and small fruit off- hence no or little fruit.
C. Spraying- never spray trees when they are in bloom!
D. Bees- have flower sources to attract bees to your yard- bees pollinate citrus.
Often we are asked why fruit is not as sweet as previous years. Cold temperatures will make the fruit sweeter but more importantly, how much fruit is on your tree plays a large role. If you have a bumper crop of fruit the sugar has to get distributed farther-thus getting diluted. Thin out the fruit to have larger tastier fruit.
We recommend Nurserymen SureGro Fertilizer 8-4-8 with all the micronutrients that your fruit trees will require. Fertilize middle to the end of February for Citrus trees. Regular fertilizer and water of 1” per week are also important.
Blueberries should be fertilized now too with an acid-loving fertilizer such as Nurserymen SureGro 14-14-12. Blueberries prefer frequent light fertilizations.