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Conway Area Master Gardener Association

February Gardening Tips

Seeds are beginning to show up in the stores. At Wallmart they are way back in the corner at the far back from the garden register, almost hiding.

• You can cut early flowering shrubs to force to flower indoors now; such as forsythia.

• Begin pruning rose bushes this month. Prune to about 18 inches from the ground. I also prune those rugged rugosas. It helps then get thicker.

• Take soil samples to the Clemson Extension to have it tested. The local office is out hwy #701 just before the DMV office. It is several miles out.

• Clean up flower and garden beds, sharpen the edges, and remove dead branches, twigs, pine cones and winter weeds.

• If your grass is a cool season grass, fertilize this month.

• Spot treat broadleaf weeds, and apply pre-emergent herbicide to control crabgrass.

• Vegetable seeds can be sown now: peas, Chinese cabbage, snow peas, onions, broccoli, carrots, lettuce and white potatoes.

• Be cautioned about using leftover seeds from last year. Many will not sprout after that period of time. To test them, put a few seeds on a damp paper towel, roll it up and store in a warm place. After a week or so, check to see what percent have sprouted. That may well be the amount that will sprout in the garden. For instance, if half (50%) sprout, half will grow in the garden.

• If you have fruit trees, prune them this month.

• When you prune, try to choose a spot just above a bud. Choose a bud that is facing outward.

• Herbs, such as Rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley and marjoram need extra lime. Fertilize them lightly.

• Prune back all ornamental grasses before the new growth begins. If you cut off new growth, you will have to look at the scalped section all summer.

• Herbs are a great joy to have fresh, however, some are very quick to out grow their space, and mint is one of these. Plant mint in a container and you will be much happier with it. Also fennel and dill will reseed and reseed and reseed until every thing is dill and/or fennel.

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