Garden expert Tina Mast of Homewood Nursery shared this short list of to-dos to tackle on milder days.
by Addie Ladner
February can bring winter’s coldest temperatures — but we do get a few surprisingly warm days! Garden expert Tina Mast of Homewood Nursery shared this short list of to-dos to tackle on those days.
Take Stock of Your Tools
Now is the time to assess your gear. What needs cleaning? How are your gloves holding up? “Sharpen and oil hand tools, then sharpen your lawn mower blades as well as change its oil, filter and spark plugs,” says Mast. “Rusty tools can be soaked in white vinegar overnight and then scrubbed with a scrubbing pad to remove rust. Dry them well and coat them with mineral or camellia oil.”
Start Certain Spring and Summer Seeds
Mid-February isn’t too early to start seeds outside for plants like herbs, cruciferous vegetables and spring roots like radish and carrots. “But watch the weather since it can be uneven in winter,” says Mast. Inside, sweet peas, larkspur and poppies can be started, as well as summer herbs like basil, chives and sage.
Treat Pests and Disease
“This is a great time to kill overwintering insects such as mites and scale on shrubs and trees, including roses and fruit trees,” says Mast. Remove debris under the trees, like dead leaves and blooms, then smother insects and egg masses by spraying plants with All Seasons Spray Oil. For severe infestations, try a fungicide such as Fung-onil.
This article originally appeared in the February 2024 issue of WALTER magazine.