Avoid the use of salt-based products on sidewalks and drives.Sand or cat litter provides good traction on slick spots without damage to lawn, ornamentals, or concrete.
Garden Tip #2
If you have plants that need to be relocated to a different part of your landscape, we are smack dab in the middle of the dormant period, so move at will.You may want to pick a day that is not terribly cold. Not only will it be easier on you, but also on your plants. Pay particular attention to the roots.The tops are acclimated to cold, and can take it, but the root system has been protected by soil and mulch, and is not particularly cold hardy. Wrap the root ball if the move is any distance, and get them replanted ASAP. Subjecting the roots to extended cold or drying out, can lead to damaged or even dead plants.
Garden Tip #3
When the temperatures are below freezing, avoid contact with plant material outside. Frozen plants are brittle, and limbs can be broken easily. Heavy loads of snow can be lightly brushed off, but stay away from ice-laden plants. If you have shrubs that are subject to winter damage (gardenias, etc.) and temperatures are predicted well below 15-25 degrees, a light covering with sheets, blankets, etc. can help. Avoid using plastic, which can encourage more temperature fluctuations, if the sun is out.
Garden Tip #4
Soil moisture levels should still be good, but do pay attention to containerized plants outdoors, which may need some extra water, especially prior to a hard freeze.
Garden Tip #5
Start perennials, geraniums, snapdragons, sweet peas and pansies indoors. Many other plants such as lobelia and verbena also need to be started indoors by the end of the month to be ready for spring.
Featured Flower from Native Plant Website
Birdsfoot Violet Viola pedata
Full to part sun, moderately dry to dry moisture level, lean sandy soil, strongly acid to moderately acid pH. 6-8 inches height, blooms in early spring, violet or purple flowers, will self-seed.
Germination Code: M or C(60), D Difficult from seed.
Native Region: Statewide except absent on western boundary of Tennessee
Because it requires lean soil and good drainage, this plant never becomes a pest. Highly drought tolerant. Can be difficult to successfully establish in a garden. Needs to be kept free of weeds and other aggressive plants so it is not crowded out. Short-lived. Blossoms make good candy, jam, jelly, syrup and wine. Edible leaves are high in Vitamin A and C. Attracts bees and butterflies.
In February start cold weather vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, onion sets, English peas, kale, carrots, collards, beets, radishes, kohlrabi, and Chinese cabbage in cold frames.
Garden Tip #7
In February you can prune evergreens for size and shape. Prune hydrangeas during the last week of the month. Avoid pruning flowering shrubs such as forsythia, quince, spirea, azalea and other early spring flowering shrubs since they have already produced their buds last fall, and pruning them now will result in the loss of flowers. After pruning, dispose of clippings to prevent disease or insect spread.
Keep In Touch!
Ruth Anne Hanahan and Dr. Andrea Ludwig
TNSY Statewide Co-Directors
Tennessee Water Resources Research Center
University of Tennessee
311 Conference Center
Knoxville, TN 37996
See Ya' in the Spring!
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