For us, February is the last calm before the storm. It’s usually the last of the dreary winter weather. We may have a few cold nights after February, but it tends to be mild here in Atlanta. Before long, daffodils will be popping up and the beautifully subtle red maple blossoms will appear. These subdued tones signal the winter finally coming to an end. So quickly afterward, mother nature moves on to the bigger and brighter blooms of spring. This wonderful domino effect kicks off this month, so keep your eyes peeled for all of the wonders ahead.
With so much garden magic right around the corner, these are our February garden chores to keep our gardens overflowing with goodness.
Keep in mind that we are in the fairly mild climate sitting on the border of 7b and 8a. We get some freezing weather but nothing compared to more northern climates.
focus on the garden
amp up the compost
Add whatever leaves you may have left over. Get your compost piles setup and going now before the warm weather hits. It’s another great thing not to have to do during the busy growing season ahead.
build raised beds
It’s the perfect time to get your raised garden bed built before it’s time to fill it up with spring and summer veggies. Raised beds are a wonderful way to get a great garden started quickly while saving your back all year.
use a cold frame to acclimate early transplants
Cold frames are a wonderful passive way to prepare your seedlings for the cool spring ahead. Before planting your transplants in the garden, harden them off in the cold frames. If you don’t already have one, we have you covered with a guide to build a cold frame.
set out the first transplants in your garden
Towards the end of the month, start planting those transplants that you hardened off in the cold frames. A good rule of thumb is to plant lettuce, cabbage, and onions starts when the first crocus bloom. Be prepared to protect them with row covers and frost cloths if you get a late frost or two.
sow your early spring crops
By the end of February, the coldest temperatures are usually over. Sow your first crops towards the end of the month. Plant your peas, onions, asparagus, elephant garlic, radish, spinach, and lettuce seeds to get a jump start on the spring. Again, be prepared to protect the sensitive seedlings.
a few indoor chores
inventory your seeds
Take one last look through your seeds to make sure you have not forgotten about anything when you planned out your gardens for the year. Also, double check that you have the amount seeds that you need. There is nothing worse than planting day rolling around only for you to realize you are a couple rows short.
get your indoor seed starting set up
Set up a seed starting area and make sure you have all of the supplies you need. Seedlings growing indoors need warmth and light. Sunlight through the windows is not usually enough. An investment in a grow light fixture to give your seedlings a head start is well worth the investment.
force a little spring to come early
There’s no better way to knock off the winter blues than by cutting branches from flowering trees and shrubs to bring inside and force to bloom. Early spring flowering trees and shrubs form flower buds in the fall before their winter dormancy. Because of this, you can place cut branches in water and soon they will actually bloom. Cherries, crabapples, and forsythia are easy and beautiful branches that are great for forcing flowering.
cheer your houseplants up
Get them some sunshine on the sunny warm days. As the days start to get longer, your houseplants notice. Give them a treat by setting them outside to soak up some much needed sun, but don’t forget to bring them in before cold temperatures set in at night.
February will be gone in the blink of an eye. Before you know it, spring will arrive along with the frenzied pace of the growing season. Naturally, we can hardly wait. With a few winter chores under our belts, the gardens will be set for another thriving year.