Winter, winter, go away; in the garden we want to play! Garden season still feels far away… unless you’re in the far southern regions. If you’re lucky enough to live in hardiness zone eight or higher, it may be time for you to plant your greens, early root vegetables, cruciferous or Brassica vegetables, and strawberries. For the rest of us, there’s still frost in the ground and possibly a little snow on top.
However, February is prime planning and seed-ordering time. The seed catalogs are all out and the websites are updated. Most of us have our standby varieties of vegetables and flowers in a mental or physical list – the tried & true ones that reliably perform year after year. But sometimes it’s nice to try something new. Pick a purple carrot for a change, or splurge on a new shrub. Find a new clematis to climb your trellis. Even just mixing up your annual order of annuals.
And now is a good time to give a little love to your houseplants, before you abandon them for the great outdoors. Continue using a good all-purpose fertilizer on a monthly basis, and dust off leaves with a soft cloth saturated in milk or a mild alcohol mix. Then double-check your watering routine with the pinkie test. Yes, just what it sounds like – push your pinky into the soil to check moisture. Overwatering is often worse than under-watering, so stop short of sopping-wet soil. Seriously.