So, I don’t know about you, but February is the hardest month for me to get through as a gardener because winter is coming to an end, but it’s still too early to be able to get out in your garden and DO anything.
So, I thought that I’d make an list of some quick win gardening tips for February. These are all gardening activities you can do without needed to physically be out in your garden.
You can also watch the video right here:
So the first quick win that I think you can get in your garden for the coming season is to think about how your garden was last season. I call it garden retrospection, but it’s just basically the idea that as in life things in your garden, won’t always go as planned.
So, just take a few minutes to write down what went well in your garden last year and what didn’t go so well. Then, try to think of what you would do differently.
This very simple task of writing down how you felt about your garden last year can help you to make better decisions for the coming season.
Know Your First and Last Frost Dates
Another really quick win that you can get in February is to look up and write down your frost states. So the very last date that it will freeze in your particular location and then the first frost of the year, which would be later in the fall.
And luckily for us, it’s really easy. Farmer’s Almanac makes it simple because all you have to do is go to their website. Then you just type in your zip code or you type in a location. Once you type in your zip code, it’s going to show you the last spring frost and the first fall frost as well as the length of your growing season (in days).
Frost dates are SUPER important and so many people fail to look these numbers up. The dates will be different depending on where you live, so it’s going to be different for everybody.
For example, if you live in Ithaca, New York, the last spring frost is predicted to be May 21. So, that means that you shouldn’t be planting any of your plants outside before May 21st.
This first frost day or the last spring frost frost date will tell you so much. It’ll tell you when you can plant, but it also can give you an idea of when you need to start seeds indoors. So if you want to put them outside on May 21st, so that your vegetable garden or your flower garden can start growing outside, then you can count back from that last spring frost date however many weeks your seeds take to germinate.
And from there, you can start planning about what you’re going to do in February, March, and April, all the way until May.
The first fall frost date in Ithaca, New York is predicted to be September 29th. So the reason that this is important is that that’s when things are going to start dying in your garden, if they don’t handle frost (i.e. if they’re just an annual plant).
This date also helps you to know when your plants will need to be established. So if you want to plant any new trees, shrubs, perennials, it’s a really good idea to give them at least 6-8 weeks prior to that first fall frost date so that they can grow and establish roots.
Whether you plan to plant in the spring or fall, just make sure that you know your frost dates so you know when it’s safe to plant.
The growing season length (in days) is also super helpful. When you’re looking up seed packets, it’s going to tell you how long a particular plant will take to bloom or how long before you can harvest your beans. So, with that information and your growing season length, you can start to plan and figure out if you can plant more than one succession or how long you have in your season to be able to grow your food and your flowers.
Set a Big Gardening Goal
Another great gardening tip for February is to think of a big goal that you want to achieve this year in your garden.
Whether it’s putting in a new patio, building a vegetable garden, making a cutting garden, fencing the property, just list one big goal to start thinking about and dreaming about right now.
This is not only going to get you excited for the growing season, but it’s also going to make sure that you get that big goal done.
List your goal on the top of a page. Then, describe the goal in detail. Why is this goal important to you? Is it time sensitive? Do you need to hire help? Then, put down the mini steps that you will need to take to accomplish the goal.
So if I were to plan a patio project, for example, some of my tasks might be:
- determine patio location
- choose hardscape material (stone, brick, decking)
- level the ground (hire out?)
- shop for patio table and chairs
- calculate amount and cost of brick/stone
- get 3 quotes (pricing and timeline) from contractors to install
So what I find is that you may have this goal or idea in your mind, but then you forget to do this preliminary planning. And when you don’t do the planning, the days just slip away from you and suddenly it’s September and you haven’t accomplished anything. Or by the time that you contact a contractor to help you, they are already booked up for the season.
So, now is the time to start planning. It’s also really fun. I guarantee you, if you do this step, the project’s just going to come out a lot better in the long run.
Learn These Flower Gardening Beginner Tips & Tricks
And the final quick one I have for you for February is to check out this article. If you’re new to gardening and you’re totally overwhelmed, and you’re not sure what steps to take, definitely read this article. These are the things that when I started flower gardening.
I had no idea about most of these things and it costs me years and years of trial and error to figure it all out out. So I decided I just going to make an article in hopes that I could shave some of those years off of your learning curve.
The article covers
- gardening zones and why they’re important
- the differences between perennials, annuals and biennial plants
- how to determine the sun patterns of your property and how that can affect what you can grow
- Understanding your soil type
- How to space plants properly
- How to feed, hydrate and shelter your plants
I just have a complete step-by-step guide to planting your first plant in your bare garden. So, if you’re totally new to gardening and you don’t know what tools to use, what to do, how to dig the hole, what to put in the hole, how deep the hole should be… all of that info is available in this article.
So I hope that you’ll take these quick wins and implement them in your own garden. Whether you do one task each week, or you just go through all of them in one day, I think it’s a really great exercise and will get your gardening off on the right foot this year!
If you do need more help than what I’m offering right here in this video, I do have an online course that will help you to plant and design a four season garden bed from start to finish. It will help you to figure out what things are blooming and when they’re blooming, how to make it look good and how to pick and colors, etc. I just obsess over that stuff, I love it so much. So if you’re interested, I’d love for you to join me. You can just head over to prettypurpledoor.com/course, to see if it’s a good fit for you.
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