Gardening This Weekend: February 22, 2018

Big changes are starting to happen. Watch this space in e-gardens each week. I’ll keep you completely updated as spring unfolds. As the weather allows over the next several days, here are your current assignments.


Last call to dig and divide summer- and fall-flowering perennials before their new growth commences.
Last call for digging and relocating established plants before spring growth hits full stride. Hold ball of soil intact around roots.
Petunias, sweet alyssum, lobelias, larkspurs, stocks and other early spring flowers to allow longest possible flowering season before summer. Ornamental kale for foliar color as well.
Finish planting cole crops. Plant leafy and root vegetables.


Flowering quince, winter honeysuckle and other spring-flowering shrubs immediately after they finish blooming. Prune lightly and only as needed to shape.
Dead or severely damaged stems of shrubs that were hurt by this winter’s cold.
Newly transplanted (bare-rooted or balled-and-burlapped) trees and shrubs to compensate for roots lost in the digging.


Liquid root-stimulator fertilizer should be applied monthly to newly planted trees, shrubs.
Spring color beds with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food weekly to promote vigorous growth.
Side-band rows of vegetable crops with high-nitrogen fertilizer to promote vigorous growth.
Rye and fescue turf with all-nitrogen food for biggest flush of spring growth. Wait to fertilize warm-season grasses.

Continued Below



Aphids congregating on tender new foliage and flowerbuds. Wash off with brisk stream of water or apply general-purpose organic or inorganic insecticide.
Broadleafed weedkiller spray to control all non-grassy weeds in lawn. Most brands contain a blend of three different herbicides. One or two of them may be active through the soil and tree roots, so use with great caution. Types with 2,4-D only are usually sold only in independent retail garden centers. They may be safer for areas with many trees. Read and follow label directions carefully.
There is no control at this point for annual bluegrass and other winter weedy grasses. Apply a pre-emergent herbicide in the first week of September to stop them. See related story this issue.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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