The Monthly Gardener – February


“Buds’re bustin’ out of bushes, And the rompin’ river pushes, Ev’ry little wheel that wheels beside the mill!”

Okay, Spring may not be “bustin’ out all over” as Oscar Hammerstein put it, but there are certainly enough buds beginning to make an appearance and the fact the Trader Joe’s  is selling daffodils does suggest that  Spring may be just around the corner.

So … what’s up for February?

To begin with, February is not a significant planting month – it’s a waiting month and a planning month. So use that rising sap to look over your garden and plan how you want to improve it when Spring does finally arrive. However, if you live within California’s costal zones, this a good time to:

  • Fertilize:  deciduous fruit, citrus and avocado trees, roses, fuchsias, cool-season lawns, perennials and create compost
  • Wash:  fruit and citrus trees with insecticidal soap or a solution of 1-2 tablespoons of dish detergent to 1 gallon of water
  • Prepare: garden by digging it up and putting down manure
  • Plant: camellias and azaleas, deciduous magnolias, clivia, gerberas, gladioli, lilies of the valley, succulents and perennials
  • Prune: kiwi vines, fuchsias, begonias, cannas, ginger, ivy, pyracantha Mexican bush sage and cut back woody and overgrown perennials
  • Lawns: Mow, feed, aerate and spread mulch on cool-season lawns

If you want to know more about what to do in the garden in February, check out Pat Welsh’s “Southern California Gardening – A Month-by-Month Guide, from which the majority of this information was excerpted, or Google, “Southern California Gardening February.”


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