February to-do list for gardeners

By Rebecca Jepsen
for the Mercury News
February 5, 2010

Here's the February to-do list for gardeners and homeowners:

  • Prune hydrangeas by cutting off old, brittle canes. Leave young canes with flower buds attached for this year's growth.
  • Prune fuchsias toward the end of the month. Remove any frost damage as well as some of last summer's growth.
  • Apply dormant spray to deciduous trees and shrubs if aphids, scale or whiteflies have been an issue.
    Apply tri-basic copper sulfate or lime sulfur to your peach trees if peach leaf curl has been a problem. For the Master Gardeners' Fruit Tree and Vine Care Calendar, go to www.master gardeners.org/picks/tree calendar.pdf.
  • Clean up fallen leaves and add them to your compost pile if they are not diseased.
  • Lawns are relatively dormant now, so don't fertilize again until St. Patrick's Day. It's also best not to mow now; to prevent damage, you want to cut off only one-third of the height of your grass at any one time.

What to plant now

Bare root: asparagus, roses, berries, artichokes, onions, fruit trees such as apple, apricot, cherry, fig, nectarine and pear.

Transplants: arugula, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, chard, Asian greens, mustard greens, lettuce, peas, and spinach.

Seeds: the transplant veggies above, plus carrots, fava beans and potatoes.