Garden Thoughts for February
February 2014 Gardening Calendar
- Apply lime and fertilizer; Order fruit trees
- Groundhog Day
- Grow herbs on windowsill
- Order a high tunnel
- Seed head lettuce (indoors)
- Build a low tunnel or cold frame; First Quarter
- Seed cauliflower (indoors)
- Clean dust from houseplants with damp cloth
- Seed celery
- Seed leafy salad greens in high tunnel
- Prune grapes
- Seed broccoli (indoors)
- St. Valentine’s Day; Full Moon
- Seed peas (outdoors) south of US Rt. 60
- Presidents’ Day
- Seed cabbage (indoors)
- Plant Irish potatoes in high tunnel
- Seed onions and greens in cold frame or low tunnel
- Apply lime sulfur to blueberries; Prune blueberries; Last Quarter
- Apply dormant oil spray to fruit trees
- Prune deciduous trees and shrubs
- Mow asparagus ferns
- Presprout seed potatoes
Garden Calendar – 101
By Lewis W. Jett, WW Extension Specialist – Commercial Horticulture
For decades, WVU Extension Service has produced the garden calendar, in one form or another, as a service to West Virginia’s many home gardeners and agricultural producers. The calendar, a valuable resource, guides gardening activities throughout the year.
Many use the calendar as a planning tool to schedule planting of popular garden crops, in order to provide an abundant supply of fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs for the entire year. Planting many vegetables 3 to 4 weeks apart throughout the season will yield a consistent supply of fresh produce.
Early cool-season crops, such as lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, onions, and celery, can be grown as transplants. When the calendar notes seed indoors, it refers to sowing seed for transplants in a sunny room or greenhouse. Planting containers can be used to grow transplants; note that supplemental lighting or bottom heating may be needed to get uniform germination and growth. Once the plants are large enough and the growing environment is favorable, the transplants can be moved to an outdoor garden.
Some vegetables, such as lettuce, beets, onions, or carrots, can be seeded directly in a cold frame. Recommended seeding dates are noted in the calendar.
The garden calendar includes garden management practices, such as soil testing, pruning, mulching, pest management, and fertilization. Pruning of fruit trees and small fruit plants should be done in late February to early March. Mulching can be done throughout the year on most crops; however, mulch should be removed from strawberries and perennial vegetable plants in early spring.
The garden calendar also notes when to start watching for emerging pest issues, including blights and insects.
Tools and Techniques
The garden calendar often introduces new tools and techniques, such as low and high tunnels, row covers, and grafting. Both low and high tunnels significantly extend the growing season in West Virginia. Row covers are lightweight and are used to protect growing crops from frost, freezing, and insects. The garden calendar shows when to plant crops within tunnels and when to place row covers on crops.
Happy winter gardening! For more information see www.ext.wvu.edu.