With the very first frosts of the year powering us and some freezing nighttime temperatures, it finally feels like winter is here. Even so, as the calendar flips over to February, we can assume the quick and mild Florida winter season to come to an finish soon. This thirty day period is a time to prepare for greener days in advance.
Time to prune?
This thirty day period is a single of the most effective to prune quite a few of our trees and shrubs, primary the pruning year to be nicknamed, the “St. Valentine’s Massacre” by some of our Grasp Gardener Volunteers. Suitable now, trees are dormant making them less pressured soon after cuts and we are still a few weeks absent from when they commence pushing h2o and sugars up to the branches, which can make them seep sap. Mid-February is the most effective time to prune crape myrtles, but make positive to do it effectively with no committing “crape murder.” Very a lot any woody tree or shrub can use structural pruning this time of yr, except for people that bloom on outdated wood these as azaleas.
Ready for recovery
With recent frosts and freezes, several of your perennials, tender crops, and even your lawn may perhaps look a minimal tough but really don’t act much too immediately.
Most vegetation go dormant in the winter season, shedding considerably of their inexperienced colour and will stay that way right until April. Do not try to appropriate problems with chemical sprays or fertilizer as they will very likely not strengthen the situation of your vegetation, will close up washing away into waterways or groundwater, and if they do spur clean growth, we may nevertheless see additional cold weather conditions ahead and this will be harmed. A a lot less than environmentally friendly garden is completely regular now and any very long-term hurt possible simply cannot be assessed till spring.
As for crops that were killed back from the cold, wait around to prune till at the very least mid-March when the danger of frost is past. This dead material can actually aid defend the base of the plant.
Time for lawn weed regulate
Did you know the greatest time to control annual, warm period weeds in your lawn for the summer time is in the month of February? Preemergent herbicides are applied and present a barrier of substances that will destroy weeds as they commence to develop in the spring. Use a preemergent product labeled for turf use and the species your making use of it to (i.e., St. Augustine grass, Bahia grass, etc.) to cease nasty annual weeds like doveweed and crabgrass when daytime temperatures increase previously mentioned 65 degrees for 4-5 days. This day is ordinarily in mid to late February. If you hold out for a longer time into the spring, the weeds will currently be escalating and then the item will not get the job done.
Some basic safety safety measures need to be taken to shield your lawn, oneself, and the environment so be guaranteed to study the label in advance of making use of the item and stick to all directions. Also, by no means apply preemergent items to places that have been a short while ago sodded, will be sodded soon, or have been/will be seeded. There are also products accessible that can be employed as preemergents in landscape beds as very well.
Vegetable yard preparations
Whilst you can even now plant several awesome year vegetables in February, spring veggies are proper all over the corner. This is a wonderful time of year to get your soil tested, amend the back garden soil, and set up any infrastructure this sort of as irrigation or lifted beds though temperatures remain pleasant. System out your garden, purchase seeds, and if commencing vegetation for transplant, believe about the proper instances to get them heading so you can get them in floor as shortly as advisable. For more information on vegetable gardening in Florida, see https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021.
Things to plant in February:
Vegetables: Broccoli, cabbage, collards, lettuce, mustard, eco-friendly onions, parsley, peppers, potatoes, Swiss chard and turnips.
Annuals: Baby’s breath, calendula, carnation, dusty miller, Marguerite daisy, pansy, petunia, snapdragon and statice.
Bulbs, tubers or rhizomes: Agapanthus, Aztec lily, caladium, canna lily, crinum lily, dahlia, gloriosa lily, ixia, kaffir lily, walking Iris, African lily, spider lily, yritonia, tuberose, voodoo lily and Zephyr lily.
Wayne Hobbs is an extension agent in environmental horticulture for Clay County.