Whether February brings buckets of rain or drought conditions to Southern California, there is much to plant now for beautiful spring and summer gardens, says experts at Agromin, an Oxnard-based manufacturer of earth-friendly soil products made from recycled green material from more than 50 Southern California communities.
Summer Bulbs: Time to pull out summer bulbs from the refrigerator and plant them. These bulbs include tulips, crocus, gladiolus, calla lily, caladium, amaryllis, daffodils and delphiniums. Stagger your gladiolus planting so you will get new blooms throughout summer. Some bulbs can be purchased and planted without the chilling process and should be in stock at nurseries. They include Dutch iris, lily, gladiolus and begonia. Bulbs may start to grow early if the winter is mild. Don't worry--growing bulbs can withstand cold and even freezing temperatures.
Last Chance to Plant Bare Root Trees: February is typically your last opportunity to purchase and plant bare root trees, including roses. For existing rose bushes, prune to encourage fuller springtime growth. Using a sharp tool, begin at the base of the bush and cut limbs at 45-degree angles, one-fourth inch above a bud. Make sure the cuts are clean, not jagged. Strive to open the center of the plant to let in light and air circulation. Remove dead branches and straggly branches.
Deciduous Trees: Deciduous trees require cold temperatures during winter to produce flowers and fruit in spring and summer. These trees include hardwood such as poplars, birches, maples and oaks, and fruit trees including apricots, peaches, plums, apples, pears and cherries. If rain is light during February, make sure the trees are well watered. Water is needed now so they can begin to produce leaves and blossoms March.
Pop in Color: Fill in garden bare spots with spring color plants already in bloom in four-inch or quart pots. Pansies will last until summer. Violas and primrose, snapdragons, calendulas and primroses provide good winter and spring blooms.
Plant Tomatoes: In warmer inland areas plant tomatoes at the end of February. You can expect to see fruit by Memorial Day.
Plant an Herb Garden: Mild winters enable Southern California gardeners to begin planting herbs in February. Plant chive, cilantro, dill, fennel, mint and parsley even if more rain is in the forecast.
Upgrade Your Gardening Equipment: Gardening equipment upkeep is sometimes neglected during the prime growing months. Winter is a good time to clean and sharpen shears and replace belts and oil in trimmers and lawn mowers so your tools are ready to go for spring.
For more gardening tips, go to www.agromin.com.
Labels: Agromin, gardening tips, soil; mulch; Southern California; Ventura County, winter gardening, winter landscaping