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February Gardening Tips

Garden Maintenance

  • Above 2000 ft. : prune deciduous fruit trees, cane berries
  • Below 2000 ft.: prune grapes, roses, crepe myrtle. Paint trunks of bare root and young fruit trees to prevent borers and protect from sunburn. Use interior white latex paint with equal amounts of water and apply generously.
  • Control earwigs and sow bugs with bait or traps.
    Remove and discard old flowers from azaleas and camellias to reduce petal blight.
  • Divide asters, lilies, perennial phlox, chrysanthemums.
  • Work on removing dead and dying limbs and vegetation.


  • Daphne after bloom.
  • Asparagus and strawberries.
  • Cane berries: split yearly recommended amount into three applications, just before new growth, mid-spring and mid-summer.
  • Feed mature bloomers and fall-planted perennials with a slow-release fertilizer.

Spray: Check the California Backyard Orchard website for current information.

  • All fruit and nut trees: if not done in January and before bud swell. 
  • Apricot trees with a fungicide containing copper to prevent brown rot. Spray at bud swell, full bloom, and petal fall.
  • Check the garden for fungus. Spray with sulfur or copper if needed.

What to plant in February

Trees, shrubs, perennials

  • Bare root deciduous shrubs and trees are available now.
  • Roses, grapes, blackberries, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, asparagus, chives, onion sets, green onion plants.
  • Below 2000 ft.: shallots, lettuce, parsley, cabbage family.


  • Lobelia, verbena, vinca rosea, catharanthus. Start begonia tubers.


  • Lettuce
  • Below 2000 ft. : peppers, tomatoes
  • Above 2000 ft. : early varieties of cabbage family.


  • If rains haven’t come, irrigate lawn once or twice this month.

Cover Crops

  • Cover crops like Fava beans can be planted if not planted earlier.