Hints of spring are throughout the February garden, but you’ll have to hunt for them under the snow and ice. Wrap up and head into the yard to search for signs of life!
What to See in the February Garden
- From tiny brown tips on lilacs to the fuzzy buds on magnolias, spring-blooming shrubs and trees have already set buds.
- Some landscape plants actually bloom in winter. Lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis, above) is famous for its late-winter flowers. Witch hazel (Hamamelis spp.) unfurls firecracker-like tendrils in late winter.
- Some shrubs may be hanging on to berries, but only if the birds haven’t found them first. Viburnum (Viburnum spp.) and winterberry (Ilex verticillata) are sure-fire bets for luring avian visitors.
- Scout your yard for early signs of spring bulbs. Here in zone 6, daffodil leaves are already emerging. Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis, below) bloom even before crocus, sometimes pushing up through the snow.
What to Do This Month
- Removing invasive plants and clearing thickets.
- Designing your new garden to be ready to plant this spring.
- Pruning apple, pear, and deciduous trees in February or March, while they’re still dormant.
Other Tasks in the Organic Garden in February
- Start seeds of cool-season vegetables indoors to give broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower a head start.
- Sharpen and oil tools to make sure they (and you!) are ready for spring.