February 2008 To Do List

by Rebecca Jepsen
for the Mercury News

After the heavy rains
and significant winds we have had recently, it's a good time to clean up fallen or broken branches, empty those pot saucers, buckets or other miscellaneous vessels that are filled with water, and do a general assessment of any damage to your garden.

Prune old, brittle canes on hydrangeas. For more information, go to www.americanhydrangeasociety.org . Toward the end of the month, prune fuchsias, removing any frost damage as well as some of last summer's growth. For advice, see www.americanfuchsiasociety.org .

Apply dormant spray to deciduous trees and shrubs if aphids, scale or whiteflies have been an issue in the past.

Apply tri-basic copper sulfate or lime sulfur to your peach trees if peach leaf curl has been a problem.

Clean up fallen leaves and debris, and add them to your compost pile.

What to plant now

Bare-root plants: berries, roses, fruit trees such as apple, apricot, cherry, fig, nectarine and pear.

Transplants: mustard greens, lettuce, arugula, chard, peas, spinach, beets and cauliflower. Local nurseries should have a good supply of most of these.

Seeds: arugula, chard, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, peas.

For a complete list of garden tips for February, a fruit tree care calendar and recommended fruit and vegetable varieties, go to www.mastergardeners.org. Or call the Master Gardener Hotline weekday mornings at (408) 282-3105 to request printed copies.

- Rebecca Jepsen, University of California Cooperative Extension Santa Clara County Master Gardener