"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands........" 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Monday, February 4, 2013

Whether or not the groundhog

saw it's shadow.............
spring will arrive in just a matter of a few weeks.
There are a few tips for things to do in this month of February...........
that I will share with you, along with some photos of what is growing in my greenhouse.
I was cautioned as I purchased this Camellia, that it is a very picky plant to grow. It does not like cold and it cannot tolerate alkaline water...........which is the kind of water in my area.
However............look at how it is blooming!..........in February..............
I keep it warm in the greenhouse...............

and I gather rain water............when it rains........... to water it with.............I store rain water in milk and liquid detergent jugs..........that have been washed out.
Look at this bud!

I am hoping that this will grow to be a very large shrub!
 So anytime, you can get a good rain..............grab a bucket..........or a barrel of it............just one good rain can give  quite a few jugs of water to store up.
You might be under a blanket of snow..............place a bucket or barrel where the snow melts and drips off............it's the same as gathering fresh rain water for your plants!

my Geranium is so vibrant at this time!
You still have time to transplant young trees from one area to another area as long as they are not showing signs of budding
It's time to deep feed existing trees by punching a series of 1-2 inch holes two feet apart around the base of the tree where you water, and fill with an appropriate food. A mulch of well composted manure is also an excellent treat for your tree.
Mid to late February is the time to fertilize shrubs and evergreens. Use an all-purpose fertilizer to feed roses and other deciduous trees and shrubs. If you use dry type fertilizers, be sure to water it in thoroughly.
Prune your summer flowering shrubs that have not started budding yet. Pruning to improve the shape of the plant, as well as to open up the center of the plant to good air circulation and sun exposure. Always start your pruning by removing all dead, decayed or broken branches.
Trim back any branches that were damaged by the ravages of winter.

Plant day lilies, bleeding hearts, and plantain lilies this month
Vines such as honeysuckle should be pruned and shaped.
Most perennials may be divided and moved up until they begin to show new growth.
Thin last years tangled growth on your climbing roses, fruit trees and vegetables.
Water all bulbs during times of growth and especially during foliage and bloom development. Irrigate summer-flowering bulbs during dry weather.
Fertilize tulips as foliage appears and make another application after flowering. Fertilize all other spring-flowering bulbs after flowering. Apply 2 pounds of 5-10-10 or 6-12-12 per 100 square feet. Daffodils and tulips should be fertilized again in early to mid-August.
If you heavily mulched marginally hardy bulbs to survive winter, pull back the mulch toward the end of winter. This prevents premature growth as the sun warms the soil.

The Aloe Vera is blooming as well!
I have tomatoes growing and blooming in the greenhouse!
Rhubarb, horseradish, asparagus and artichokes can be planted this month.
Kiwis and grapes must be pruned by Valentines Day to prevent sap 'bleeding'.
Strawberries can be planted as soon as they become available.
Cane fruits (raspberries and blackberries), with the exception of ever bearers should have all the canes that produced fruit last year removed.
The vegetable garden should get its first tilling (if weather permits) to allow the weather to aid you in breaking up the dirt clods. Exposed weeds and seeds hopefully will perish

You can begin feeding houseplants
Don't forget to put feed out for the many birds that will be visiting.
Prepare your garden tools. Get your mower back in shape as well.
Turn the compost pile.

a cactus that was only about 6 inches high when I purchased it a few years ago, has now grown to almost 6 foot!
February Home Maintenance Projects

Trim branches around the roof line to keep squirrels, roof rats and other pesky animals off the roof.
Inspect all vents, repair as needed, and remove any debris blocking air flow.
 Clean condenser coils or fins beneath or behind refrigerator according to the manufacturers’ instructions. Make certain there is adequate air flow around the appliance.
 Using binoculars, inspect roof from the ground (walking on a damp or wet roof can be very dangerous), looking for loose, missing or damaged roofing materials. Repair any damage. If you have access to the underside of the roof, check during a heavy rain for leaks.
 How about you?
Are you looking forward to spring's arrival?
What are your tips during this month?
I would love to hear!


Nancy J said...

Your flowers do so well, and the tips and suggestions for February are thorough,and in our season down here, will save this list for October. Love the bud colour that changes as the flower opens. Nature is so good at hiding beauty, only to show at the right moment. Cheers from Jean.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

These are great tips for gardening and repairing your home. I love the flowers in your greenhouse. They are so pretty. What a wonderful thought that spring is just around the corner. Thanks for the tips to get started for springtime.

Daisy said...

Wow! That camellia is gorgeous! I enjoyed seeing all your pretty flowers, Kathleen. We have about five new inches of snow on the ground here. Blessings to you. :)

peggy said...

Thanks for the tour. It would be so nice if we were there to walk through the greenhouse with you. We have lots of snow today.

Magnolia Tea said...

Hi Kathleen!
I loved the peek inside your greenhouse. The camellia is really stunning! I love the geranium, also. Last spring I bought my first geranium, and I've over-wintered it in the house. I just hope it makes it to spring. Some of the leaves are drying even though I'm keeping it watered. I set it outside on the porch in the sun when weather permits, but lately it's been too cold. Anyway, I'm hoping it will thrive.
Have a great week!

Country Gal said...

Wonderful tips ! We wont be doing any of this till at least April here unless we get a very warm spell as we are covered in a blanket of snow and it is still snowing and cold ! I would love to have a green house one day soon ! Everything in your green house looks lovely ! Thanks for sharing all your tips of the trade ! Have a good evening !

lil red hen said...

We had a day today that made us feel like spring is just around the corner. Thanks for sharing all these great tips for getting things ready for spring.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Thanks for all the tips, Kathleen. While we won't be doing as much outdoor gardening as in years past, as we are focusing on a hopeful move. We had a camellia plant by the front porch, but were forced to cut it down it was too close and had caused the porch to rot.

Muddling Through said...

What a very informative post! Thank you for reminding me of a few things I've missed. I collect rain water, too. Since we have an inside cat, the litter buckets make wonderful rain water catchers. Your greenhouse is amazing - look at those tomatoes! You did well.

Terry and Linda said...



RiverBend Farm said...

Kathleen, you're such a sweetheart to check on me. Lots going on in my life..hope to be able to post about it..just not ready yet.

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Your Camilla is beautiful- I have never been able to keep one alive.

Vickie said...

Wow, Kathleen - I'm gonna have to bookmark this page so I can refer back to it. Lots of great info here - but why should I be surprised? You always have such wonderful gardens. I love camellias - I think I have a spot in the back of my house where one might work. I've been eye-balling them for a couple of years. My MIL had a beautiful red one in her back yard forever that I envied tremendously. We've already pruned back some things and tried to shape our fruit trees the right way, cut back lantana, and I'm in the process of pruning out old growth on my rose bushes. Can't wait to see what you have in store for us this spring/summer in your gardens!

Jen's Farmily said...

Wow! I cannot believe all the activity that is going on in your greenhouse! It makes me believe that spring really is on it's way no matter how hard the snow, cold, and ice is trying to convince us otherwise!

KathyB. said...

You really do have a green thumb. Plants thrive under your care, and when one considers you are growing such lush plants in an area almost desert -like in weather, this is even more of a testament to your talents, or gift .The camellia is proof!

Good list of to-dos before gardening season actually sets in full force. For us here in the Pacific Northwest, we might delay such activities until March...or later.( we grow really good crops of algae though )

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Marie said...

What an awesome, and very informative post! All this info is so helpful! I have a great "Desert Gardening" book my daughter gave me that pretty much does this for our area...but I enjoyed your post much, for the little personal touches and for all the wonderful blooms on the plants in your greenhouse! And you took the time to help us out, like you do with your embroidery. You are always so kind!

Mini said...

I enjoyed the peek into your greenhouse! Great tips too, especially the one on collecting rain water. I'd like to know the name of the plant bearing yellow flowers with serrated leaves...please do tell.