Sunday, January 23, 2011

February Gardening Tips in Oklahoma

It is so dark and dreary today and those garden seed catalogs look like a breath of Spring blown my way! February is a month that much preparation work can be done for the coming growing season in the garden.

Garden Tips:
  1. Get a soil test done through the Nowata County OSU Extension Office, just call 273-3345 for directions on getting a soil sample from your garden and the cost. The soil test will provide information on exactly what your garden needs for fertilizer.
  2. Remember our feathered friends! I had a stale bag of leftover red and green tortilla chips left from the holidays so I poured the chips on my bird feeding table. Oh, my, how nice and colorful those chips looked in my brown yard! The birds (and maybe a few happy dogs) ate the chips in no time. However, there are better food options for the birds but waste not, want not.
  3. On a warm and sunny Winter day clean out those birdhouses for the coming nesting season.
  4. If you haven't already been planning your garden with paper and pencil, now is a good time to spend a few hours pouring over the catalogs.
  5. I even start to think about what I would like to preserve, such as Wild Plum Jelly, Watermelon Pickles, etc. There may be bargains on the canning jars in the stores (or a good supply) and start looking for the jars at garage and estate sales.

Landscape Trees and Shrubs
  1. Fertilize your trees and shrubs with a good general fertilizer, such as 10-10-10. Trees can be fertilized around the drip line (where the branches end) and shrubs should be fertilized around the base. If the winter has been dry like the 2010 fall and winter, go ahead and water the fertilizer into the soil. Plants tolerate freezing better wet than dry.
  2. Pruning can be done on shade trees, summer flowering shrubs and hedges. However, spring flowering shrubs should be pruned immediately AFTER flowering.
  3. Dormant oil can be applied to control some insects, such as mites, scale, etc.
Fruit and Nuts
  1. Choose fruit varieties that have been proven to grow well here in Oklahoma.
  2. Blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, asparagus and other perennial garden crops can be planted late in the month.
  3. Spray peaches and nectarines with a fungicide for peach leaf curl before the buds begin to swell.
OSU Facts Sheets have much more information on gardening and the sheets are written by experts, so click the link and a whole new world of wonder will be found!

Happy gardening!

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