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Garden tips for February

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By Ray Ridlen

Give your Valentine a romantic bouquet of flowers or a blooming plant.

Feed tulips in early February.

Mid-February is a good time to begin pruning and fertilizing trees and small fruits.

Fertilize trees, including fruit and nut trees and shrubs, annually. It is best to fertilize in both the spring and fall. Divide fertilizer equally between spring and fall. However, if fertilizing only once per year, so do after a killing frost in the fall.

By Feb. 15, many cool-season vegetables like cabbage, carrots, lettuce, peas, and potatoes can begin to be planted.

Provide feed and unfrozen water for your feathered friends.

Force spring flowering branches like forsythia, quince, peach, apple, and wigelia for early bloom enjoyed indoors.

For grafting pecans later this spring, collect and store graft wood.

Spray for gall producing insects on oaks, pecans, hackberries prior to bud break of foliage.

Spray peach and nectarine trees with dormant spray of lime sulfur or other labeled fungicide to prevent peach leaf curl.

Dormant oil spray on trees and shrubs controls spider mites, scale insects and eggs of other insects that have survived winter. Select a calm, warm day when the temperature won't dip below freezing at night. Be sure to read the label for instructions.

Begin planting blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, asparagus and other perennial garden crops later this month.

Choose fruit varieties that have proven track record for Oklahoma conditions.

Base vegetable and lawn-grass fertilization on a soil test. For directions, contact your local Extension Office for recommendation of the right kind and amount of fertilizers to use.

Finish pruning shade trees, summer flowering shrubs and hedges. Severe pruning of evergreen hedges should be delayed until just before new growth begins. Spring blooming shrubs may be pruned immediately following flowering.

Look for arborvitae aphid on many evergreen shrubs during the warmer days of early spring.

Pull winter annual weeks, they're easier to control when small.

Mulch perennial beds with 2 to 4 inches of compost, tree leaves, or clean straw.

Date: 2/18/2013



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