Monthly Horticulture Tips
Monthly Horticulture Tips
Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service
Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
Oklahoma State University
Let’s talk about February
By David Hillock
Trees & Shrubs
- Fertilize trees, including fruit and nut trees and shrubs, annually. (HLA-6412)
- Most bare-rooted trees and shrubs should be planted in February or March. (HLA-6414)
- Finish pruning shade trees, summer flowering shrubs and hedges. Spring blooming shrubs such as forsythia may be pruned immediately after flowering. Do not top trees or prune just for the sake of pruning. (HLA-6409)
- Look for arborvitae aphids on many evergreen shrubs during the warmer days of early spring.
- Gall-producing insects on oaks, pecans, hackberries, etc. need to be sprayed prior to bud break of foliage.
- Dormant oil can still be applied to control mites, galls, overwintering aphids, etc. (EPP‑7306)
Fruit & Nuts
- Spray peaches and nectarines with a fungicide for prevention of peach leaf curl before bud swell. (EPP-7319)
- Mid-February is a good time to begin pruning and fertilizing trees and small fruits.
- Collect and store graftwood for grafting pecans later this spring.
- Begin planting blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, asparagus and other perennial garden crops later this month.
- Choose fruit varieties that have a proven track record for Oklahoma’s conditions. Fact Sheet HLA-6222 has a recommended list.
- Force spring flowering branches like forsythia, quince, peach, apple, and weigela for early bloom indoors.
- Forced spring bulbs should begin to bloom indoors. Many need 10 to 12 weeks of cold, dark conditions prior to blooming.
- Feed tulips in early February.
- Wait to prune roses in March.
- A product containing glyphosate plus a broadleaf herbicide can be used on dormant bermuda in January or February when temperatures are above 50 degrees F for winter weed control.
- Cool-season vegetable transplants can still be started for late spring garden planting.
- By February 15 many cool-season vegetables like cabbage, carrots, lettuce, peas and potatoes can be planted. (HLA-6004)
- Base any plant fertilization on a soil test. For directions, contact your County Extension Educator.
- Provide feed and unfrozen water for your feathered friends.
- Clean up birdhouses before spring tenants arrive during the middle of this month.
- Avoid salting sidewalks for damage can occur to plant material. Use alternative commercial products, sand or kitty litter for traction.
- Join Oklahoma Gardening on your OETA station for the start of its season beginning in February. Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m.
Dustin Harris, Justin Quetone Moss, Joshua Campbell, and Samantha Snyder
As the state has remained especially dry throughout January, it is important to consider the irrigation needs of your landscape. Although the majority of your vegetation may be dormant, your landscape may be in need of some supplemental water. It’s often overtly apparent that evergreen plants and cool-season grasses still require water during the winter, but allowing the desiccation of the soil can also be detrimental to your dormant, perennial plants. Warm-season grasses, flowering bulbs, and deciduous trees also continue to utilize small amounts of water throughout the winter, but, more importantly, the soil moisture serves as a buffer against rapid changes in the soil temperature.
While considering if your landscape may need some supplemental irrigation this month, now is also a great time to consider applying mulch to your ornamentals to enhance your water use efficiency. The general recommendation for mulch applications is to apply it to a 3-inch depth. As you may realize, adequate use of mulch not only reduces irrigation needs, but it also aids in reducing weed pressure.
Bring Spring Indoors
Get a jump on spring and enjoy the bright colors of spring blooming trees and shrubs indoors. Many spring flowering shrubs and trees can be forced to bloom indoors. Just cut some branches from plants like forsythia, quince, peach, apple, and weigela and place them in your favorite vase or other container with water and watch them blossom before your eyes.