From the Desk of Ed Hume: February Garden Projects

January 31, 2011 at 2:34 PM Leave a comment

Happy Monday, everyone!  I apologize for the recent lack of updates.  I was informed that we had a recent increase in visitors to our site.  This is fantastic news!  However, so many new people visited at once that the site couldn’t support everyone.  I guess that’s about the best bad news you can receive!  Anyway, the webmaster has everything fixed and the site is now strong enough to support as many people as want to visit.  Thank you to all of our new friends on here; I hope you will grow to love our site more and more.  And of course, I would like to exend a special thank you to our fans who have been with us from the start.  We wouldn’t be here without you.  We have a lot in store for 2011, and we hope you will be as excited with our new ideas as we are.  With that said, let’s get this show back on the road!

-Ed

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Wondering what to do in the garden at this time of the year?  Right now is the time to go out, tour the entire garden, and make a list of things that need attention.  You are apt to find weeds growing, flowering, and going to seed; or plants that need winter pruning; shrubs that need feeding; or on a warm day you may even find a few slugs.  So let’s discuss a few of the possible projects in a little more detail:

WEEDS – I don’t know about you, but weeds are one of my biggest concerns for several reasons.  First, when they flower and go to seed, you can be fighting the germination of those weed seeds for years to come.  Second, weeds are host to many insects and diseases.  Third, weeds rob valuable nutrients from your garden plants.  Fourth, they ruin the appearance of your garden plantings.  Any one of those four points is reason enough to get busy and pull or cultivate-out those weeds the minute they start growing in late winter.

PRUNING – There is still time during this winter dormant season to prune fruit, flowering, and shade trees…if they need pruning.  Actually, these trees usually need more thinning than pruning.  Thinning means to go in and cut out some of the branches that criss-cross, rub together, or have become a tangled mess.  The main purpose of thinning or pruning is to open-up the tree branching pattern to allow for better sunlight exposure and air circulation.  Make your pruning cuts above an outside bud so as to encourage outward growth.

FEEDING PLANTS – As you tour the garden, if you observe any plants that have off-color yellow-green leaves, that could be an indication that they need feeding.  Mid February and mid-May are two of the best times of the entire year for feeding plants.

Use a Rhododendron or Evergreen type fertilizer to feed evergreens, including junipers, conifers, rhododendrons, and other broad leaf evergreens.  Apply the fertilizer according to label instructions and water-in thoroughly after application.

SLUGS – At first sight of a slug, begin taking steps to control them.  Remember some species of slugs produce up to 250 or more offspring in a single year.  The more adult slugs you can eliminate early in the season, the less slugs you will have the rest of the season.  Copper tape, slug traps, and various baits can be used to help reduce the slug population in your garden.  It’s believed that even coffee grounds will help deter slugs.

Just remember: whatever you can do now (weather permitting) should help cut down on garden maintenance the rest of the growing season.

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Helleborous, a Wonderful Winter Perennial Ed’s Podcasts: Pruning Trees

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