Gardening ABCs for February
from the Johnson County Master Gardener Association

Apply dormant oil spray to plants that are susceptible to scale insects, including pecans, fruit trees, photinia, euonymus, hollies, camellias and oaks.

Apply fertilizer to cool season turf grasses such as rye or fescue. Use a 3-1-2 or a 4-1-2 ratio lawn food in mid-February and again 8 to 10 weeks later.

Avoid trying to remove mistletoe with chemical sprays. There are no chemical sprays that will work on mistletoe without harming the host tree. The limbs need to be pruned to remove this parasite before it becomes thoroughly rooted and before its support twigs and branches become large limbs.

Avoid pruning spring-flowering shrubs and vines until immediately after they finish flowering.

Begin to apply a rose specialty fertilizer to roses as the buds start to break.

Begin digging and dividing summer- and fall-blooming perennials after mid-month, but before the new growth begins for the spring.

Begin planting bare-rooted fruit trees, grape vines and blackberries early in the month. Plant onions and asparagus early in the month, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower toward the middle of the month, and leafy or root vegetables late in the month.

Begin to apply broadleaf weed killer to eliminate henbit, chickweed, dandelions, clover and other, non-grassy weeds from turf grass.

Complete the removal of freeze-damaged wood from shrubs, groundcover and vines as soon as you can assess the magnitude of the damage.

Complete dormant-season pruning before new growth begins, including grapes, bush roses, evergreen shrubs and summer-flowering shrubs, vines, and shade trees, with the exception of oaks.

Control unsightly weeds and prevent the formation of seeds by “scalping” your lawn late in the month. This will encourage the growth of summer turf grass while removing the brown stubble from the surface. It also allows sunlight to penetrate and warm the soil sooner.

“Happy Gardening!”

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