Hello Gardening Friends! February has arrived and, as of today, there are 46 days until Spring! This month is the perfect time to give some t.l.c. to your houseplants. Also, if you plan on ordering vegetable or flower seeds ... do it now before the most popular selections are gone.
Scroll down for helpful monthly gardening "to do's"and more. Plus discover what's new and blooming at FlowerChick.com for more gardening advice, tips, and inspiration for your 2021 gardens ...
Table of Contents - February Newsletter
Garden Gift of the Month
Latest Flower Chick Posts
February Garden "To Do's"
Flower Spotlight & Trivia
Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle ... a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream.
If you need a gift for someone who is new to starting seeds indoors (or if you are!), this set has everything needed to start a beautiful and bountiful garden.
Includes a tray with lid ... providing the perfect environment for starting seeds, environmentally-friendly recycled paper pots, a handy rust-resistant seedling widger, and three popular seed varieties.
Growing vegetable plants from seed is not a difficult thing to do at all. Quite the contrary, it’s actually very rewarding and a good thing to do while it’s still cold outside and you are itching to dig in the dirt!
Need a nudge? Consider growing from seed: 1.) saves money 2.) lot more variety 3.) pushes the season 4.) helps our bee friends and 5.) gives you an abundance of satisfaction and security ... you know the crops are organic and pesticide free.
To add humidity for houseplants, set pots on trays of pebbles. Fill the trays with water to just below the bottom of the pots.
Most plants enjoy a fine mist of water from a spray bottle too. Adds humidity to dry air and helps keep dust off the leaves.
Don't mist plants that don't require a lot of moisture: like succulents, dragon tree, fiddle leaf fig, yucca, and ponytail plant. Also, plants with fuzzy leaves like African Violets prefer no water on their leaves.
February Garden "To Do" List:
Start Vegetable Seeds - by mid February you can start broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and lettuce. By the end of February or early to mid March you can start seeds for tomatoes, peppers, annuals and perennials.
Give Houseplants TLC - if they have dusty leaves, give your plants a good rinse in the kitchen sink or shower, trim off brown or problem parts, and top off the soil with fresh potting mix. But don't fertilize houseplants this month. With less daylight, their need for food is reduced.
Inspect Indoor Plants - examine houseplants frequently for signs of insects or disease. Give plants a quarter turn weekly to encourage even growth.
Leave Snow On Evergreens Alone - do not try to remove wet heavy snow from evergreens, you could do more harm than good. Evergreen limbs remain supple through winter and will bend under the weight, but should not crack.
Prune Deciduous Trees - since branch structure is more visible without foliage. Remove dead, diseased, and injured branches first. To test to see if a branch is really dead, scratch a little outer bark off a twig with a fingernail; a hint of green cambium underneath indicates live tissue.
Wash Flower Pots - on mild weather days give your containers a bath. Use hot, soapy water and rinse so they're set for spring planting.
Build Garden Structures - it may be warm enough out in the garage to start building window boxes, arbors, trellises and garden / potting benches, if you are so inclined.
Free Mulch - when shoveling or blowing snow, get more for your effort by spreading the fluffy white stuff onto your planting beds as free mulch. Just be careful & don't use snow pushed up from the street; it may contain plant-damaging salts.
Check On Bulbs / Branches That You Are Forcing - keep soil lightly moist and once the bulbs have sent up shoots a half-inch to 1 inch high, take them out and put them in the sunniest, brightest spot possible.
Be Careful When Using De-Icers - pay attention to ice-melt products you use to avoid damage to trees, shrubs, perennials, and your lawn. Most products contain salt (sodium chloride). Potassium chloride or sand is less harmful to plants.
Take Stock - take inventory of all gardening necessities such as hand tools, potting soil, fertilizers, rose and fruit tree sprays, garden gloves ...etc. and make a list of what you need.
Jot Down Your Ideas - into a garden notebook that will be handy come spring. Dedicate pages for notes and photos of favorite ideas. Include pocket folders for articles & to hold receipts and plant labels for reference.
Visit a Botanical Garden - gift yourself a dose of warmth and lift your spirits by visiting an indoor public garden near you. You'll pick up some great ideas for your garden plots, too.
Did you know ... 10 Fun Facts About Irises
Irises are one of the earliest blooming and easiest perennial flowers to grow. They come in many forms, shapes, colors and sizes and the sword-like foliage is attractive when the plant is not in bloom.
The most commonly planted iris in the United States is the bearded iris. Height of the bearded iris plant ranges from 3 inches for the shortest of dwarf iris flowers ... to 4 feet for the tallest of the tall bearded iris.
Flower Chick's favorite are the beautiful purple irises ... such stunners with their exotic good looks!
Individual iris flowers consist of three upward oriented petals known as “standards” and three downward oriented sepals (which look like petals) known as “falls”.
The falls serve as a “landing pad” for pollinators and direct them toward the nectar.
Iris symbolizes eloquence. Purple iris is symbolic of wisdom and compliments. Blue iris symbolizes faith and hope. Yellow iris symbolizes passion - while white iris symbolizes purity.
Most iris species originate from temperate parts of Europe and Asia.
Irises are named after Iris, the goddess of the rainbow in Ancient Greek mythology.
The iris is the birth month flower of February, the 25th wedding anniversary flower, and the state flower of Tennessee.
According to the American Iris Society, cultivated irises are divided into three groups: bearded, aril, and beardless irises.
Orris oil from irises is added to perfumes, cosmetics, and some types of gin, including Bombay Sapphire. Orris root imparts clean floral aromas and mouth filling violet, sweet, and woody flavors.
A.S.P.C.A. (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) says that irises are poisonous for both dogs and cats. The organization also says that the rhizomes are the most toxic part of the plant.
The artist Vincent van Gogh painted several famous pictures of irises.
Recommended Gardening Book:
The Vegetable Gardener's Bible Using "WORD" Method
A must for anyone interested in growing their own veggies ... this classic reference book guides you with a proven system.
This legendary high-yield gardening method emphasizes wide rows, organic methods, raised beds, and deep soil. Succeed with fussy plants, try new and unusual varieties, and learn how to innovatively extend your growing season.
Need a little gardening inspiration? Looking for some good cheer and vicarious travel? Get inspired by the Midwest’s beautiful botanical gardens, arboretums, and other stunning natural attractions! Join us as we visit these wonderful Zone 5 & Zone 6 garden sites.
In this “Visiting Midwest Gardens” feature, Flower Chick spotlights the beautiful Mabery Gelvin Botanical Gardens in Mahomet, Illinois. Join us to discover what makes this picturesque setting so special ...
In 2019, the entire pond and waterfall area underwent a complete renovation. The pond was completely drained and repaired along with removal of six million pounds of silt and debris. The results are spectacular!