We're also busy cleaning barns and preparing for goat kids that will be arriving soon. Making sure the proper medical supplies are on hand, cleaning barns and prepping the kids' housing facilities are keeping us busy. Below are more details on what is on our Gardening February to-do list.
2. You can start your warm weather garden seedlings in seedling pots in a protected area such as your home or greenhouse. Remember all seedlings started in a protected environment will eventually need to be hardened by exposing them to the weather for a few hours a day before transplanting outdoors. Be sure to give your plants that take a longer time to mature such as melons and pumpkins a good head start. Start these seeds inside 4 to 6 weeks before the average last frost. If you want to sow outside, wait until 1 to 2 weeks after the average last frost. However, because of the long time to maturity, it is generally recommended for most gardeners to start these plants indoors. For the harder seeds, soaking your seeds overnight in water will help then emerge more quickly.
3. If you can work your soil in an existing garden, this is the time to amend your soils. Add in compost. If it's been a number of years since you took a soil sample to your agricultural extension agent for analysis, consider doing so again and amend accordingly.
4. Evaluate your irrigation systems. Are they doing the job adequately? Do you need to add taps or expand the line?
5. Set up a rainwater collection system so you'll be ready for spring rains. This is a great time to add collection barrels or tanks to collection areas such as green house roofs, house roofs, sheds, barns, pool covers and any other surface you can collect from. You can later use this water as is, or in smaller barrels it's a simple way to make a compost tea.
6. If your property is suffering from erosion and rainwater run-off, berms may be your answer. Simply use dirt, branches, rocks and other natural materials to create raised hills in places where you notice significant water run-off. By slowing the water run-off you will keep more of the water on your property and allow it time to soak into the ground and water table as opposed to rushing into ditches, streams and lakes and potentially creating further downstream erosion.
7. If you are in a warmer area where you can garden year round, you're probably noticing some of your cool weather crops and herbs may be starting to stress. The cilantro in southern Florida has already bolted, so get out there and start taking cuttings and dry or preserve those herbs for future use. For more moderate or temperate climates, this is a good time of year to sow your last crop of cool weather crops such as spinach, lettuce, micro-greens and kale.
8. In US Zones 8-11 set out bare-root fruit trees such as apples, apricots, peaches, pears, persimmons and plums.
9. Valentine's Day is a good way to remember to prune your roses, however, don't prune tender perennials until the last danger of frost has passed for your area.
10. Check our tree pruning calendar to determine what trees are now in need of pruning.
11. Indigenous wildflowers are a great way to support and encourage wildlife. To plant wildflowers, rake the soil just 1 inch deep, scatter the seeds, rake again very gently to lightly cover the seeds with soil and carefully water in with a light mist to set the seeds.
And now, Happy Gardening!