Sam Says for February 2018

– Get ready to garden.  Start cool season crops from seed indoors this month (Arugula, Asparagus, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Cabbage, Celery, Chives, Lettuce, Onion, Parsley, Peppers and Tomatoes).

– Summer flowering bulbs can be planted now and next month; gladiolas, dahlias and lilies.

– Divide Rhubarb that has been growing for a few years.  Split the crown with a spade, remove one-half of the plant and leave the other half undisturbed.  You can further divide the piece that was removed from the ground into pieces.  Each piece should have a visible emerging crown.  Plant each piece with about one inch of soil over the top of the crown and be sure to use a little starter fertilizer.

– As soon as flower stems are visible, old leaves on Helleborus can be pruned off to give full view of the flowers.  After flowers have been open for several weeks new leaves will begin to appear.

– Cut ornamental perennial grasses back to between two and four inches from the ground.  DO NOT prune the evergreen varieties.  Simply comb any brown or broken leaves out with your hand.  Be sure to wear gloves as some varieties have serrated leaf edges.


Dormant Spraying

The best times to apply dormant sprays are during the months of January and February.  Spraying fruit trees, roses and other ornamental trees and shrubs with insecticides and fungicides will help control or prevent insect and disease problems in the spring.  The goal of many people is to avoid spraying altogether.  This can sometimes be achieved by proper sanitation around the plants, good pruning practices, proper plant selection and following recommended fertilizing schedules.  If you seem to be having the same problems year after year with things like apple scab or peach leaf curl, you should consider a dormant spray.  If you are not sure what to do or have questions about dormant sprays please call us at 360-779-3806.