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The Tri-State's Most Up-To-Date Gardening News
From Al Krismer Plant Farm
February 2018

 

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-- February Garden Tips

Greetings  Gardening Enthusiast,

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. - Barbara Winkler

Even though there is not much gardening going on now be sure to check our February gardening tips. February is National Bird Feeding Month so make sure you provide food and shelter for our feather friends, or you might think about adding different plants to provide food and shelter in your landscape plans for 2018.

It may be winter outside, but our greenhouses are beginning to fill with many plants for the spring. Each week in February will bring more shipments of new and interesting plants.

This year will bring many and new exciting plants from Krismers At last count we should have over 400 different varieties of annuals, vegetables, herbs, groundcovers, and speciality plants. Make sure you check the monthly tips for future months of 2011 for more information. We have most of our new items, as well as, old favorites either started or ordered for spring 2016.

American Heart Month

Cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, are our nation's No. 1 killer. To urge Americans to join the battle against these diseases, since 1963 Congress has required the president to proclaim February "American Heart Month."

Check our heart healthy recipes at the end of the newsletter. Also plan for a heart healthy diet with lots of fresh vegetables and fruit. In the upcoming months we will help you plan your vegetable garden so that not only will you harvest fresh vegetables, but also vegetables that will be healthy for you to consume.

Other February Activities

February is the month for hearts and health. Check out our healthy recipes below.

Wondering what to buy your significant other for Valentine's Day in the way of plants or floral products? Maybe your the recipient of a plant and need information on how to take care of it.We offer the following links to help you in your decision

Video link to care of Valentine Holiday Day plants
Video link the guide to rose colors and meanings
Click here for guide to Valentine flowers

Suffering from cabin fever. There are several activities you can participate in local parks. Check the Quick Links at end of the newsletter. Who says that February has to be a dull month!


February Garden Tips
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Annuals, Perennials, and Bulbs
  • It's time to start planning your Spring 2018 garden. For information on catalogs go to the CYNDI'S CATALOG OF GARDEN CATALOGS website. Over 2000 catalogs are listed by various categories.
  • Don't remove mulch from perennials too early. A warm day may make you think spring is almost here but there may be more cold weather yet to come.
  • February is a bit too early to start most transplants for your garden but not too early to get ready. Check your seed supply to see what you still need to order. Purchase soil mix at your local garden store, and fill the flats. Hang the grow lights. You also may want to take a quick inventory of your gardening tools to see what needs to be replaced
  • If you are considering installing supplemental lighting for your indoor plants, the 48-inch, 40-watt fixture with two fluorescent tubes is the industry standard. Use one cool white and one warm white tube to obtain the light mix most beneficial to plants. Never use incandescent bulbs for indoor seedling since this source of light causes young seedlings to stretch and weaken.
  • If you want to "talk" to other gardeners, join a discussion list. Check out Garden Web Forum where you will not only find links to discussion groups but to plant databases, societies and associations, and additional Internet resources on gardening.
  • Don't start your vegetable plants indoors too early. Six weeks ahead of the expected planting date is early enough for the fastgrowth species such as cabbage. Eight weeks allows enough time for the slowergrowing types such as peppers
  • Handle seed packets carefully. Rubbing the outside to determine how many seeds are inside can break the protective seed coats, thereby reducing germination.For more info on starting seeds click here


 

Kids Gardening

 

  • Another fun way to green up your indoor environment--and keep your kids entertained--is to start a garbage can garden using the tops of carrots, rutabagas, beets, and other root crops.
  • Cut off the top inch of a carrot, and set in a shallow bowl. Surround with pebbles to hold in place, then fill the bowl with water. In a few days, the tops should begin sending forth fresh, ferny foliage.
  • Pieces of sweet potatoes (with eyes) also will produce lush, green foliage. Cut the potato in half, making sure the half you save has eyes or sprouts. With toothpicks, suspend in a glass of water, making sure the tip of the potato is slightly above the water.

Charlie Nardozzi of the National Gardening Association has some great ideas to help get kids interested in gardening

Click here for more info

 

Garden Maintenance:
 

  • Use plant friendly materials to melt ice on walks or driveways. Urea (46.0.0), Magnesium Chloride, Calcium Nitrate, Calcium Chloride and sand are all safe to apply near lawns and plants
  • Repair and paint window boxes, lawn furniture, tools and other items in preparation for outdoor gardening and recreational use.
    Click here for more garden tool tips
  • Late winter is the time to prune many shade and fruit trees. Look over your plants now and remove dead, dying, unsightly parts of the tree, sprouts growing at or near the base of the tree trunk, crossed branches, and V-shaped crotches. Although bleeding is not harmful to the tree, you might want to hold off pruning heavy sap bleeders such as birches, maples, and elms until early summer to avoid the sap flow. Also, it may be best to wait until fall to prune oaks due to the risk of oak wilt disease.

    For more info on pruning trees click here
  • Spring is right around the corner. February is a great time to make an appointment with one of our landscape designers to make plans for a beautiful spring landscape.

    Click here for tips on selecting a landscaper

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 Trees and Shrubs:

  • Snow removal from shrubs should be done with care using an upward motion. If a heavy layer of ice forms, leave it to thaw naturally. Severe damage and breakage can occur while attempting to remove built up ice.
  • Prune shrubs that bloom after June 15 now. Shrubs that flower before June 15 should be pruned immediately after flowering.
    Click here for more pruning info
  • Branches of forsythia, pussy willow, quince, spirea, and dogwood can be forced for indoor bloom. Select and cut 12 inch long branches with plump buds. The closer to their natural bloom time that you cut branches, the sooner they will open. Make long, slanted cuts when collecting the branches and place the stems in a vase of water. Change the water every four days. Keep at a temperature of about 65 degrees once they open. They should bloom in about 2 to 3 weeks when cut in mid February.

    For more info click here
  • Prune fruit trees and grapes in late February or early March after the worst of the winter cold is passed but before spring growth begins.
  • Dormant oil can be applied to control scale insects on ornamental trees and shrubs if temperatures will stay above 40 degrees for twenty-four hours. Spray before buds show green. Don't use a dormant spray on Beech, Butternut, Colorado Blue Spruce, Hickory, Holly, Sugar Maple, Japanese Maple, or Walnut. Make sure you carefully read all directions when applying pesticides.For tip sheet on using dormant sprays click here
  • If the weather cooperates, mid-February is a good time to start fertilization of all trees and shrubs except for azaleas and rhododendrons

 

Lawn Care:

  • Avoid heavy traffic on the dormant lawn. Dry grass is easily broken and the crown of the plant may be severely damaged or killed
  • Even though spring is far away, it's not too early to start planning ahead to your 2008 lawn care schedule. For example, major projects (such as putting in a new lawn), routine maintenance, or addressing specific problems need to be done at the right time, so a reminder on the calendar helps when that month arrives.
  • Winter or dormant seeding of grass seed can be successfully done by applying grass seed to the bare and weak areas of the lawn sometime during the months of January or February. Remove any fallen leaves or other debris that would keep the new seed from making good seed to soil contact. That's the only work on your end. Just spread the seed and wait till the soil warms in early spring for germination. Buy the grass seed now so you have it on hand. Do not put any grass seed down on the lawn when snow covered you want to see where you're putting the seed.
  • On non-erodable areas, dormant seeding of Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue or perennial ryegrass can occur at anytime during the winter when the soil is dry enough to prepare a seed bed. Turfgrass seeded at this time will not germinate until soil temperatures warm up next spring. This technique has been successful on relatively flat areas, but should be avoided on sloped areas prone to erosion

    Click here for more info on dormant seeding

 

Houseplant Care:

  • Gradually reduce the amount of water to poinsettias. Pots can be allowed to dry out before watering. Do not worry if leaves and bracts are falling, the plant is starting its dormancy period which lasts until spring. Keep in a well lit warm area.
  • Its not early to buy a few plants which can add color to your home and later be planted outdoors. Try some of the colorful primroses, which can be later planted outside and continue to bloom until early summer. Remember to give blooming p[plants as much light as possible indoors. Primrose prefer cool temperatures of around 60 to 65 degrees.
  • If your Christmas cactus has finished blooming, it should be given about a 30 day rest. Again place it in a cool room and provide limited water. Don't worry if it loses a few leaves or joints and appears weak during this rest period. This is not the time to pinch, prune or shape a Christmas cactus.

    For more info check the Christmas cactus fact sheet

     
  • Late February is a good time to airlayer such house plants as dracaena, dieffenbachia and rubber plant, especially if they have grown too tall and leggy.
    Click here for more info on air layering (PDF file)
     

Critter Care:

February is National Bird Feeding Month

  • Feed the birds regularly and see that they have water. Birds like suet, fruit, nuts, and bread crumbs as well as bird seed. Click here on directions for making home made suet.
  • Keep the water in your bird bath from freezing with the addition of a pond/bird bath de- icer
     
  • To prevent cats, raccoons, squirrels, and other animals from knocking over the birdbath when trying to get a drink, make sure the bath is securely situated. If your birdbath has a hollow base, you can fill it with sand to prevent tipping, for example.

 

Recipes:

February is Heart Month. We have selected five heart healthy recipes to share with you

 


Monthly Garden Tips are sent out by Al Krismer Plant Farm during the year. Look for the Tips and the expanded e-news before the 10th of the month. Quick Links below

The purpose of the website links and other news articles is to provide information to the reader and in no way implies a particular endorsement or recommendation of that particular website or any content or material within the website

You may use any of the content material as long as you give credit to Al Krismer Plant Farm

 


Quick Links...
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  • Our Website
  • Previous monthly tips and e-news archives
  • Ohio State Fact Sheets
  • Cincinnati Parks
  • Boone County Parks
  • Clermont County Parks
  • Hamilton County Parks
  • Metro Parks of Butler County
  • Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens
  • Cincinnati Krohn Conservatory


  • Contact Information
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    phone: 513-385-3276
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     

    Monthly Garden Tips are sent out by Al Krismer Plant Farm during the year. Look for the Tips and the expanded e-news before the 10th of the month. Quick Links below

    The purpose of the website links and other news articles is to provide information to the reader and in no way implies a particular endorsement or recommendation of that particular website or any content or material within the website

     

     


    Quick Links...
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  • Our Website
  • Previous monthly tips and e-news archives
  • Ohio State Fact Sheets
  • Cincinnati Parks
  • Boone County Parks
  • Clermont County Parks
  • Hamilton County Parks
  • Metro Parks of Butler County
  • Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens
  • Cincinnati Krohn Conservatory


  • Contact Information
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    phone: 513-385-3276
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     
    Forward email