Tag Archives: pruning

February Tips for the Garden

winter-storm-pax

Inside
As days start to lengthen, keep providing humidity for houseplants by using a humidifier or placing plants on a large saucer atop moist pebbles. Continue to water plants when soil surface is dry. Empty saucers of standing water. Monitor and treat for insects by removing affected leaves or sparing with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.
Buy seeds now to get the selection available. Cold crops and early spring crops like broccoli, cabbage, kale and perennial herbs can be started now. Wait until next month to start warm weather crops like tomatoes and peppers from seed.
As Amaryllis finish blooming, cut off the large flower stalk. Leaves will grow now. Place the plant outside after frost free date (May 1-15).

Enjoy classes held around our region on gardening. Many venues offer gardening talks including Cylburn Arboretum, The Baltimore County Agricultural Center in Cockeysville and Valley View Farms. Take advantage of these and other classes offered in our area.

Outside
Be careful not to get ice melt on lawns or planting beds.
Do not walk or drive on frozen lawns as leaves and crowns may be destroyed.
Watch for voles, especially around trees and shrubs planted last year. Stomp snow around plants to keep voles from easily tunneling through to feed on plant material.
Deer are feeding now too. Use deer repellents or fences to avoid damage to trees and shrubs.
Feed the birds. Suet and black oil sunflowers are favored by many winter birds.
Prune trees and shrubs that have been damaged by winter storms. Do not use pruning paint as trees will heal a properly pruned cut fine.
As the extremely cold temperatures of this winter fade away, many other gardening tasks should be performed. We can readdress other gardening tasks as we get milder weather.

Deer Problems

deerproblems

The deer completely devoured the bottoms of my beautiful holly bushes this winter. What should I do if anything?

Answer:
Deer have had a tough time this winter with all of the snow accumulation we have received this year. Prune the top of the holly back a bit to allow light to shine on the bottom branches. Give your holly some fertilizer this spring; Hollytone is a good choice. Feed it this spring and again in late summer. Next year, use some deer repellant. I like to use the deer tape from Messina Wildlife. It has kept deer from getting in to my garden regularly.
Hope this helps. Good luck.