One of the many benefits of living in the South is that our winter months are made bearable by the occasional spring-like day. Its not uncommon during February and early March to drive by Thrasher Park to find it full of children in short sleeves. Itʼs days like these that are perfect for getting out in our yards and doing those winter chores that prepare our gardens for spring:
-Prune Crepe Myrtles in February.
-Prune roses back to a few strong canes about 18” high
-Cut back Liriope and mondo grass before new leaves emerge.
-Begin starting seeds indoors for spring planting.
-Plant peas & lettuce.
-Apply pre-emergent herbicides to lawns and flower beds at the end of this month and into March to prevent cool season weeds from germinating.
-Continue feeding pansies and other annuals every 2 weeks with a ‘nitrate’ nitrogen fertilizer.
-Prune dormant trees & shrubs. Do not prune spring flowering shrubs or you will lose the blooms this year (wait until after they bloom to prune)
-Continue to clean up leaf litter and leaves from around the base of trees & crowns of shrubs.
-Plan your summer vegetable garden.
-Order seeds and other plants for spring.
-Soil preparation – till, add organic matter and lime as needed.
-Plant bare root roses.
Another great way to bring that springtime feeling indoors is to force branches into bloom. Forsythia, flowering quince and flowering cherry are easy to force and many of us in Norcross have these plants in our yards. In late February, simply cut several short branches and place them in a vase of lukewarm water in a sunny area inside your home. Watch as the buds swell and begin to bloom over the course of several weeks. As the temperatures dip back below freezing and you ride the roller coaster of our unpredictable winter weather, you’ll be reminded that spring is just around the corner!