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February lawn and garden maintenance checklist


     • Transplant existing landscape plants.

     • Pinch off pansy flowers when transplanting to encourage
     branching and focus the plant’s efforts on rooting and
     getting established.

     • Later-blooming bulbs like amaryllis, cannas, gladiolus,
     etc. in South Alabama; delay planting for a few weeks in
     North Alabama.   

     • (Northern and cooler Central areas) Start tuberous begonias indoors late this month for
     summer-long flowering outside.

     • Start perennials from seed.

     • Divide and replant summer- and fall-flowering perennials as new growth emerges, these
     include asters, chrysanthemums, coneflower, liriope and daylilies.

     • (Plants) Beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, chard, collards, green
     onions, Irish potatoes, lettuce, mustard greens, and turnips.

     • (Seeds) Add tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts to
     coldframes or Early Grow Mini Greenhouse.

     • Dormant asparagus crowns without any green shoots in bed enriched with organic matter
     such as compost, manure or shredded leaves.

     • Potatoes in middle of February.

     • Strawberries.

     • Bare-root roses.

     • Now is a good time to repot, especially those with roots showing through the drainage

     • Dormant trees and shrubs.

     • Graft camellias in Central and South Alabama.

     • Plan a spot for plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds !!!


     • Fruit trees, FL Fruit, Citrus & Pecan Food.

     • Apply half of the fertilizer recommended for grapes now; apply the other half soon after fruit

     • With bone meal (or super-phosphate if you have squirrels).

     • Houseplants with liquid of soluble fertilizer according to manufacturer’s directions when
    signs of growth appears.

     • Feed indoor-grown annual transplants with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Peters
    20-20-20 at half strength every other week.

     • Spring bulbs whose shoots have emerged with a complete fertilizer, 10-10-10.

     • Seedlings in soilless mixture when the first true leaves appear. Feed every other watering.

     • Till and fertilize the garden plot.


     • Shade and ornamental trees lightly to remove dead, diseased, and crossing limbs. 

     • Prune or mow winter-damaged foliage from liriope, ophiopogon, honeysuckle, and
     jasmine; English ivy and other ground covers should be hand pruned if needed.

     • Shorter ornamental grasses to 4-6 inches and pampas grass from 6-12 inches. Wear
     gloves and tie the top part of the pampas grass for easier removal.

     • Divide crowded perennials like daylilies, daisies, etc

     • If overwintered coleus have become leggy and gangly-looking, clip off the ends to take
     cuttings, and root them to produce short, stocky plants for planting in the spring.

     • Hanging baskets of philodendrons, piggyback plants or pothos may have leaves clustered
     at the ends of their stems. Cut them all the way back to the rim of the pot. During the new
     growth they will trail back of the sides of the pot. Use the trimmings to root new plants.

     • Take cuttings from indoor overwintered geraniums to root.

     • Remove dead and non-productive plants and shrubs.

     • Good time to severely prune evergreens.

     • Existing roses before new growth appears (around Valentine’s Day is usually
     recommended). Make sure to use sealant to prevent boring pest.

     • Hybrid tea roses in South Alabama; delay pruning for a few weeks in North Alabama.

     • Peach and plum trees, crepe myrtle, and all other trees and shrubs that need shaping
     and/or pruning before new growth appears.

     • …Wait to prune azaleas till after blooming … 

     • …Wait to lightly prune and shape crepe myrtles for more blooms till around Valentine’s

     • …Wait to prune wisteria till after blooming (June or July)…


     • Winter annuals and dry soil areas as needed. 

     • If a freeze is forecast. Well-watered roots are less susceptible to freeze damage.

     • Lightly water forced bulbs to keep potting mix moist.

     • Houseplants more frequently now and watch for onset of new growth.

     • Newly set roses at planting, keeping the soil moist but not excessively wet.


     • Use horticulture or dormant oil as needed for insects and scale on trees such as: oaks,
     hollies, camellias, euonymus, pecan and fruit trees.

     • Spray for fire blight on Bradford pears, pears and apples, FL Fire Blight Spray.

     • Horticulture or dormant oil on roses as needed.

     • Watch for aphids, scale insects and mites on forced bulbs and houseplants, insecticidal

     • Treat bulbs that were removed from a fungus infected bed before replanting in new bed or
     treated bed (if not too badly infected).

     • Spray all shrubs with a fungicide before new growth starts.

     • Watch for damping-off, HY Captan.

     • Watch for grass fungus. (Brown patch, take-off, etc.) 

     • Pre-treat for early season weeds: Spread pre-emergent herbicides, Balan, HY Crabgrass

     • Control any winter annual weeds such as bittercress, common chickweed and henbit by
     handpulling. Suppress them with a shallow layer of mulch.


     • Start or use a gardening journal to help plan the color and landscaping of your garden. It is
     easier to erase than to move plant.

     • Good time to organize your work area and supplies in preparation for work later in the
     month and following months.

     • Prepare flowerbeds for summer annuals.

     • When soil can be worked, turn under last fall’s cover crops. Never work wet soil — this
     causes hard, compacted and unproductive soil.

     • Solarize (process of covering with plastic in order to smother existing weeds) beds that
     are freshly tilled.

     • Add compost and top-dressing mulch to all unhealthy soil areas. 

     • Turn the compost pile regularly.

     • Change oil in mower and sharpen blades for cleaner cut. (Improves health of grass.)

     • Calibrate your spreader to insure proper disbursement.

     • Continue to cleanup any remaining leaves, frozen plants, debris, etc. (including those in
     the water garden).


     • It is not too late to do a soil sample! The
     sooner the sample is submitted, the better.

     • Install a water garden when ground can be

     • Check the tender aquatic plants
     overwintered indoors. Make sure they are
     still covered  with water.

     • Feed the birds!



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Date Last Updated January, 2006