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February in the Garden

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February Gardening in Transylvania County

Extension Master Gardener Volunteers


  • Fertilize emerging spring-flowering bulbs as soon as they appear. Fertilizing bulbs
  • Fertilize cool-season lawns such as tall fescue. Follow soil test results or apply 1 pound of Nitrogen/1,000 ft2. Cool-season grass calendar
  • Fertilize important shade trees. For large trees, use 3 pounds of 10-10-10 per inch of trunk diameter. Fertilizing trees and shrubs
  • If you have them, spread wood ashes around the vegetable garden, flowering bulb beds, and non-acid-loving plants if the soil pH is below 6.0. The maximum amount to incorporate per year is 20 gallons/1000 ft2. Using ashes in the garden



  • Prune grapevines after the severe cold has passed but before they leaf out. Pruning grapevines
  • Prune fruit trees. Peach diseases are reduced when trees are pruned in late February. Pruning fruit trees
  • Trim dormant ornamental grasses such as Liriope, Mondo grass, and pampas grass. Cutting back ornamental grasses
  • Trim dead and diseased wood from shrubs and climbing roses.
  • Prune shade trees if needed, with the exception of bleeders such as maple, birch and dogwoods, which should be pruned from mid to late summer. Pruning trees and shrubs
  • Prune boxwood early in the month before growth begins.
  • Cut back any overgrown shrubs, including Burford holly, Japanese holly, and similar broadleaf evergreens. Keep in mind that pruning flowering broadleaf evergreens at this time will reduce flowers in the spring and summer.
  • Prune butterfly bushes to control height and shape and encourage flowering. Butterfly bushes
  • Prune tall stalks of Nandina and Mahonia to the ground to induce compactness.
  • Never top your trees! Why not top trees?
  • Do not prune spring-flowering shrubs or trees until after they bloom or flowers will be reduced. However, overgrown spring flowering plants such as azaleas should be pruned in February. This will remove this season’s flower buds, but the results are much better when trimmed before bud break.


Lawn Care

  • Use broadleaf weed control if needed to control chickweed, henbit, and other weeds.
  • If needed, control wild onion in your lawn with spot sprays of a recommended herbicide. Weed id and control in lawns


  • Divide perennials such as daylily and Shasta daisy when the ground is dry enough. Dividing perennials
  • Take hardwood cuttings of landscape plants including crape myrtle, flowering quince, forsythia, hydrangea, juniper, and spirea. Propagation from cuttings

Miscellaneous To Do

  • Sharpen pruners and loppers.
  • Put up bluebird boxes or clean out boxes from last year. Bluebirds
  • Develop vegetable garden and landscape plans for your property. Landscape design
  • Order strawberry and blueberry plants and vegetable and flower seeds while desired varieties are still available. Small Fruits
  • Turn under cover crops when the soil is not too wet.
  • Cut branches of pussy willow, forsythia, flowering quince, and sweet breath of spring to force indoors. Forcing flowering branches

Plants in bloom in February

Japanese Flowering Apricot, Wintersweet, Winter Honeysuckle, Hellebore, Paper bush, Trailing Arbutus, Crocus, Violet