Welcome to February. While it might still be cold around Oregon and Washington, there are things you can do in your yard and garden for better blooms and bounty come spring. Here are some quick tips from the experts with Oregon State University Cooperative Extension and Washington State University Spokane County Master Gardeners.
Mid-winter is the perfect time to tune up your equipment, test your soil, and plan ahead where you want to put specific plants.
- Get your lawnmower and weed-eater ready for the spring weather. Change the spark plug and oil in your mower, and clean the blade if needed.
- Test your soil for nutrients. Then, add any needed nutrients to gardens and flowerbeds.
- Select and make cuttings of fruit and nut trees for grafting in the spring. See our article How to Graft Fruit Trees for more details.
- Plan your herb bed and planters, as well as perennial locations.
- This is a good time to plant a windowsill container or flats of seeds in a greenhouse.
- Plant your fruit trees in February as well as any deciduous shrubs, ornamental plants, and roses.
Cleaning, Watering, and Sheltering
February can be a great month for cleaning and maintaining your yard, garden and more.
- Look for water damage on trees and shrubs. If necessary, remove dead shrubs and repair water-damaged trees.
- Create a hotbed so you can start your vegetables or flowers early in spring.
- If you have rhubarb, fertilize it.
- Rotate your garden soil by incorporating cover materials into the ground. A rototiller makes the work easier.
- Prune and train grapes, fruit trees, and blueberries.
- If you’re in Eastern Oregon or Washington, prune and train raspberries. Wait until later February for the western side of either state.
- In western Oregon and Washington, prune and train blackberries that you want to keep. Also, prune clematis, Virginia creeper and other vining ornamentals.
Pest and Disease Management
Your plants and trees will still be dormant in February, but now is a good time to monitor their progress as well as prepare for critters.
- Set traps for moles and gophers as needed.
- As Elm leaf beetles and box-elder bugs are coming out of hibernation, remove them from your plants and other areas.
- Treat your lawn for crane flies.
- Spray deciduous trees and shrubs as needed.
- Remove diseased limbs from fruit and nut trees.
Get Everything for Your Garden at Coastal
You’ll find your garden insights as well as seeds, soil, starts, fertilizers and more at your Northwest owned and operated Coastal. The folks in our gardening department can give you advice for your area, as well. Have a question that needs answering right now? Try the OSU Cooperative Extension’s Ask an Expert site or email email@example.com, or review these year-round gardening tips.