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February Checklist

  • During thaws, check perennials and shrubs that were planted within the last year to make sure the root balls aren’t “heaving” out of the ground. Tamp them back down if they are. Freezes and thaws can push poorly rooted plants out of the ground, exposing roots to potentially fatal winter winds.

  • Scout the landscape for branches broken by snow, ice or wind. Prune them off cleanly, back to the next healthy joint or bud.

  • Reapply anti-desiccant sprays such as Wilt Pruf to broad-leaf evergreens that are prone to browning around the edges from cold winter winds. Apply only during above-40-degree days. Also reapply deer repellents to landscape plants that are prime deer targets.

  • Prune your fruit trees and young shade trees – especially “bleeders” such as maple, birch and dogwood that will produce a lot of sap if you wait until later in spring. Apply dormant oil spray to the fruit trees after pruning – again, only on above-40-degree days.

  • Take cuttings from geraniums, coleus and any other annuals you’ve overwintered inside to make “babies” for this spring. Dip cuttings in a rooting hormone, stick them in potting mix and get them under plant lights.

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