Are you as ready as we are to get outside and garden?! If the Mesquite trees are right, Spring is just around the corner. Here’s our top 6 to focus on in February to kickstart an amazing Spring season.
Check out our February Garden Guide for more tips and remember that trees, shrubs, and perennials can be planted 12 months out of the year! The only difference is the amount of water they need depending on temperatures and wind!
1. Come to Gill’s ‘Smart Choices for South Texas Landscapes’ Garden Talk with Kathy Hubner
The Gill’s Garden Talk series continues this Saturday, 2/11/23 at 10am! Join us for Smart Choices for South Texas Landscapes with Kathy Hubner, professional Landscape Designer here at Gill’s. Kathy has a reputation for landscapes that endure and she’ll share her ideas for plants that can withstand freezes and South Texas summers. This is a great opportunity to ask questions and get inspiration for your landscape. One attendee will win a $100 Gill’s gift card, and we’ll do some other giveaways too! Learn more about our Garden Talks here.
2. Be Ready for Cool Weather and Start Planting!
Keep your eye on the forecast for cold snaps like we’ve had this week, but don’t delay your planting projects. We are already seeing Mesquite trees start to bud up, which almost always means no more hard freezes! As James Gill shared with us at his garden talk last weekend, he’s only seen 2 years out of almost 70 where the Mesquites were wrong on this. That’s a lot more accurate than the weather man!
3. Start Your Veggies!
Beloved tomato growing is rewarding and can be challenging. Planting them early this month is important. Tomatoes need cooler nights to have good fruit set. When you plant tomatoes, be sure to install a tomato cage while they’re small. It can act as a frame for cold weather protection (a bag or blanket) if needed and a frame to support your plants as they grow. You can go ahead and start other favs like squash, cucumbers, beans, & lettuces/greens either by seed or transplants too. Stop by and we’ll help you plan your veggie garden and get you everything you’ll need for a bountiful harvest!
4. Feed Veggies & Flowers
Blooming plants need food! Veggies are especially heavy feeders – they need to be able to sustain blooming and producing fruit. We recommend mixing in a little Bio-Tone Starter when you plant, which contains mycorrhizal fungi that promotes root growth. Then feed with a good organic, granular plant food like Plant-Tone or Medina Growin Green once a month, and supplement with liquid organic Hasta Gro in between. An easy way to remember this is to set an alarm or calendar event for granular feeding on the 1st of the month, then Hasta Gro on the 15th. These will add nutrients to your plants and keep your soil alive and healthy too.
5. February = Time to Prune!
February is the time to get plants cut back to make way for big spring growth! Most perennials like Lantana, Turk’s Cap, and Salvias need a good pruning back to about 4-8″ – don’t be shy! For any plants with woody stems/branches (like Esperanza and Hibiscus) that look dead or damaged, do the scratch test before pruning. Start up high and scratch with your fingernail, a dime, or the back side of a knife. Don’t scratch too deep. If you see the bright green cambium layer (like the photo), that means it’s still alive! If you see brown/gray when you scratch, keep working your way down the plant until you see green. That will tell you where to cut. As always, contact Gill’s if you’re not sure or have questions about whether or how to prune specific plants.
6. Keep Watch for Winter Insects
Scale is a hard bodied sucking insect that looks like a brown booger stuck to the leaves of plants. Some of their favorites are Burford Holly, Bird of Paradise, Flax Lily, & Irises. They are easily controlled with a spray of organic All Seasons Oil Spray, but it must be done now. The oil spray literally coats and suffocates the the eggs that are waiting for spring to hatch. It’s also good for treating indoor plants that may have scale or spider mites.