What To Do In Your Southern California Garden In February

No matter how long I live in Southern California February never fails to amaze me – I spent many slushy, cold Februarys in New York so the clear blue skies, sultry breezes, and puffy white clouds of Southern California are such a gift. I don’t have to wear boots or rubber shoe covers every day. I can wear Ugg boots one day, clogs the next, and sandals the third; a true shoe junkie’s dream!

Since we are lucky enough to have year round gardening chores, it’s time to get out there and get crackin’! Here’s your list for the month.

Tomorrow is Superbowl Sunday, so for those of you that have waited to prune your hybrid tea and grandiflora roses… have at it! For my rose pruning post click here:

Speaking of shoes, if you don’t have a pair of good rubber mud boots now is a great time to get them. The winter things are going on sale, and the end of February and March are generally our wet months.

You can order seeds for upcoming planting (those seed catalogs are calling your name) pick some up or browse online.

You can still plant winter crops; lettuces, broccoli, greens, sugar snaps, and cabbage.

Plant those bare root fruit trees and vines, if you need more information check out my post on bare root plants.

Don’t forget your bare root roses, there should still be some around, soon they will be put into cans and they will be quite a bit more expensive!

You can also plant Citrus trees and please be sure to plan ahead to protect them from frost damage. Your subtropical fruit trees would also benefit from a little extra attention. When I plant a new subtropical I like to leave some room around it and put four stakes around it. I buy stakes that are taller than the tree and I place them so that when I drape my frost cloth over them, none of the cloth will actually touch the tree – I run out in the early evening and tent my babies and remove the frost cloth in the morning as it warms up. You can also protect the plants by stringing Christmas lights near them, and turn them on when you know the temps are dropping. Please don’t tent a tree with the lights on… I don’t want you to burn anything down!

You can still plant cool season annuals, and winter, spring and summer blooming bulbs.

If you like to plant seeds, you can start sowing warm season annuals. If you are planting annuals at this time, take a little bit of time to make sure that you select varieties that will last for a while. If you pick ones that are happier in the cooler weather they won’t last much longer as our weather heats up. It is often better to wait a couple of weeks and plant annuals that will take you into the summer.

Time to think about pruning your evergreen shrubs, in Santa Clarita, Antelope valleys as well as other colder areas you probably want to wait until late in the month or early March. Where it is warmer the pruning will give your plants a little longer to get into shape for spring.

Pruning winter flowering vines and shrubs like Hardenbergia and some Ceanothus after they bloom gives them a nice clean look, and a head start on next year.

Peach trees can be sprayed for peach leaf curl, peach leaf blight and canker.

You can prune peaches & nectarines while they are in bloom – of all the fruit trees they will benefit from this but you must wait until you are sure that the blooms have matured enough so that there is sure to be winter survival.

If your cacti or succulents need to be repotted, it’s a nice time for that – just make sure that they have finished blooming.

Don’t forget your houseplants… they could use a little bit of fertilizer now that it’s starting to warm up.

I hope this gives you enough to do, remember those cold weather gardeners are VERY jealous!

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