Most award winning in South Central PA

Gardening Tips: February

Main  /  Jan  /  Feb  /  Mar  /  Apr  /  May  /  Jun  /  Jul  /  Aug  /  Sep  /  Oct  /  Nov  /  Dec

This Month Banner_short_Feb


Pruning fruit trees:
February through March is an excellent time to prune fruit trees. The first thing to remember when pruning fruit trees are the three Ds: remove all dead, damaged and diseased wood. Most small fruit trees are pruned to encourage new growth for next year fruit while keeping trees short and stocky. This helps the tree to bear a fruit load without breaking branches. Flower buds that bloom and produce fruit were developed the previous summer. So regardless of what is cut off, potential fruit is being lost; this is however necessary to promote new growth to increase buds for next summer. Be sure to cleanup all wood cut from the trees so you do not promote the spread of diseases.

Most anti-desiccants only have a life of about 60 days so it might be important to reapply if the material was first applied in December. Wait for a day where the temperatures get above 40 degrees; this product needs to dry on not freeze on. Evergreens that are sprayed with these products are protected from moisture loss, even when the plant is exposed to harsh winter sun and winds.

Dormant oils:
Early February is a very good time to start thinking about controlling insects for the year. Again, pick a day when the temperatures are above 40 degrees and spray dormant oil in trees to smother eggs and larvae that are over wintering in the tree. This product can be used up until leaf bud starts to swell. After that, the lighter horticultural oils should be used.

Fertilize trees:
If you did not get time to fertilize your trees in the fall, this time of the year is still a great time to do so. Not all trees need fertilizer. Wait for at least one year after planting or transplanting a young tree, then spray every couple years until it is well established (around 10 years). The recommended fertilizer for this application is in the form of tree spikes, which are made by many manufacturers. These products are made just for trees and contain all the basic nutrients and micronutrients for the tree. There are also spikes made for acid-loving plants such as evergreens and hollies. This product is installed by inserting the spike in the ground at the drip line; follow package instructions for the number of spikes per caliper inch of trunk.