Sowing of annuals and perennials
From January to March you have the best results with the annual sowing. Starting early has the advantage of early flowering, but particular attention must be paid to the minimum temperatures necessary for germination. Another aspect not to be underestimated is the amount of light: often you get thin and clear seedlings, unable to support and grow further. So let’s remember, as soon as we see the first leaves, to move the trays in an extremely bright area, possibly a sill facing south.
The practice of trimming is fundamental: it slows down the growth, but it allows the tillering and abundant blooms.
We can also sow perennials keeping in mind that to obtain specimens of good size you will have to wait at least until the following spring: the ideal is instead to proceed in autumn (period also recommended for biennials).
What to do for shrubs and decorative trees
In the first part of the month, especially in the North, we have to wait patiently for the last waves of frost to pass: we check the covers of the most delicate specimens. The new jets (induced by the first warmth) can be damaged even by a cold and windy night, compromising the specimen throughout the season. We can safely devote ourselves to pruning when the night temperatures are steadily above zero.
Let’s start with the specimens exposed to the south and more resistant and then move on to those to the north and more sensitive. Let’s remember that in this period we have to prune only the plants that bloom on the branches produced in the year, limiting ourselves, for the others, to only clean any diseased or dry branches. For those in flower at this moment, we wait for the withering of the corollas and the appearance of the leaves.
It is still a good time for planting bare-root shrubs and trees: let’s always make sure that the soil is not frozen or too wet.
The garden in February: Other work
Once pruning has been completed, which should always be done on hot, dry days, it is advisable to treat the branches and the surrounding soil with copper. This is an important practice to avoid the onset of copper cancers and reduce the amount of pathogen spores.
In mild areas it may already be time to bring out the plants we had sheltered for the winter: let’s clean them from the dry parts, expose them to sunlight and give a nitrogen liquid fertilizer to help the vegetative recovery.
We can also begin lawn maintenance by distributing a nitrogenous fertilizer, removing moss and, towards the end of the month, proceeding with a transemina if there are thinned areas.
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