South: February Backyard To-Do Record


Don’t let any gentle days move by this month. There may be a lot to do within the backyard. Spring ephemerals are beginning their present, and a few of the earliest-blooming panorama vegetation are making themselves identified. It’s time to begin dreaming of spring. Our southern winter will quickly give option to hotter days; now is a superb time to get a head begin.

Purple martins birdhouse
Purple martins are colonial nesters and want a home with no less than 4 to 6 nesting cavities. Picture: Andy Pulte

Put up a local chook nesting field. Housing Japanese bluebirds or a colony of acrobatic purple martins can add enjoyable to the backyard, and studying concerning the particular nesting bins completely different birds want could be an satisfying expertise. You may additionally wish to take into account cleansing out current nesting bins early this month. Soiled ones can result in issues later within the yr.

hellebore dead foliage
Useless foliage from earlier bloom cycles of hellebores that hasn’t been eliminated will distract from present flowering shows. Picture: Steve Aitken

Clear up previous hellebore foliage. Hellebores (Helleborus orientalis, Zones 4–8) might be up and flowering quickly if they don’t seem to be already. Clear up ratty-looking foliage now to verify it doesn’t distract from this yr’s bloom. Moreover, should you see any bigger seedlings beginning to bloom which are significantly good, you could want to mark them now and transfer them quickly after their bloom time has ended. Typically seedling hellebores get smothered by their mother or father plant if not transplanted.

Golden lily turf
Golden lily turf (Liriope muscari ‘Peedee Ingot’, Zones 6–10), like different liriopes, tends to get tip burn this time of yr. Now is a perfect time to trim it again to above its crown. Picture: Andy Pulte

Keep grasses. In the reduction of liriopes (Liriope spp. and cvs., Zones 4–11) someday this month, being cautious to not minimize too far into the crown. Typically as winter winds down, tip burn turns into ugly. Use a rake or a leaf blower to take away clippings from the realm.

pruning a tree
Strategic cuts can guarantee extra structural integrity in your tree. Picture: Jennifer Benner

Prune for construction. This can be a nice month to do structural pruning of timber. The purpose of structural pruning is most frequently to assist timber type one primary chief and one primary trunk. This will occur with exact discount cuts or by the strategic removing of limbs. Ensure you educate your self on this apply or seek the advice of an internationally licensed arborist for assist. At all times keep away from the arbitrary topping of timber; this weakens their total construction.

Don’t wait till spring to see the cheery yellow blooms of forsythia; pressure some branches indoors. Picture: Michelle Gervais

Pressure branches of early bloomers. Early spring-blooming shrubs could be pressured to bloom indoors this time of yr. This may be executed by chopping stems as buds start to swell. Spring-flowering quince (Cydonia oblonga, Zones 5–8), fruit timber, and forsythia (Forsythia spp. and cvs., Zones 4–9) are all good selections. Place them the place they may obtain some daylight. Prepare them in a vase with water and luxuriate in!

Dandelion seedhead
Dandelions forming seed heads signifies the sluggish return of warming temperatures; that is your sign to get a deal with on garden weeds. Picture: maxpixel.internet

Care for your garden. Take some cues from the climate this month. Once you see dandelions beginning to go to the puff-ball seeding stage for the primary time, meaning the soil is beginning to heat. Additionally it is your sign to stop crabgrass and different seasonal weeds from germinating. This may be executed by the usage of standard strategies resembling a preemergence herbicide, or by natural strategies. Understanding what kind of garden you might have is essential. Totally different grass varieties carry with them completely different suggestions, which ought to be investigated earlier than continuing.

—Andy Pulte is a college member within the plant sciences division on the College of Tennessee.