February is here and while winter probably isn’t really over quite yet, this month brings the hope of spring. Many of us are already enjoying the bits of extra daylight in the evenings, looking for that first Crocus to pop through the ground, and just itching to get our hands in the dirt! There are plenty of gardening activities to do now to kick-start this year’s productive and beautiful gardens!
Start planning what seeds you want to start indoors so they are ready to plant after the last frost. Planning what seeds, getting your indoor starter kits ready, and plotting out where you’re going to place them, will make spring planting go smoothly. Organize the seeds and put them in order from the ones you’ll start indoors, down to the ones that you plan to directly sow in the ground. We anticipate having our seeds out and ready for purchase in March, so plan your purchases now! Hardman’s hints: You can bet on planting peas, carrots, onion sets, turnips, and radishes by mid to late March, then hold off until April for potatoes and other root vegetables. Late April & mid-May will be the time to introduce things like tomatoes, cucumbers, half-runner beans, corn, and more!
Get those pruning shears out.
February is also the ideal time to prune dormant deciduous shrubs and fruit trees while the air is still nice and cool, before branches start having buds breaking through. Trim your shrubs and hedges into a nice rounded shape. Don’t forget your grapevines or berry bushes – as this is the perfect time for pruning those as well. Roses also could use a little TLC right now, if you missed out on getting them pruned in the fall. Hardman’s hint: pruning roses isn’t overly complicated – just cut the stem just at the base of a bud. If you think you might like to see blooms all around the plant, then you can prune as far down to the ground as you can get. Roses are pretty hard, so prune confidently!
Last, but not least!
Finally, as soon as you’re able, get out and till the soil – really break it up into big clods and work in composted, organic matter as best you can. If you don’t have any of that around, a balanced fertilizer should do the trick as well. Prepping your soil now will make for healthy, productive plants during the coming growing season. Spring is coming – happy planting!
For more than 100 years, we have been West Virginia’s hardware & home store. Hardman’s serves everyone from the professional contractor to the do-it-yourselfer. Our expert advice can provide the answers you need to get started on your next home improvement project.