Regional Gardening Guide - Zone 7-8

February 1 to February 28-- Discover what you should be doing right now. Our experts share gardening advice, techniques, news, and ideas to make your garden the best ever.

Here’s what’s happening in your gardening region:

February should be the end of very cold nights which means that we can start to look toward planting cool weather vegetables and perennials plus there is plenty to do indoors with starting seeds for less hardy plants.

 

map for zone 5-6

Your Regional reporter

Kate Cospey regional reporter photo

Kate is an avid veggie gardener and writer.
She is a board member of the Garden Writer's Association. She authored 2 books: The Downsized Veggie Garden (Feb 2016) and New York & New Jersey Month by Month Gardening (Aug 2016).

To see What's in Kate's Garden Click Here!

Finally the ground in November is cool enough for milder areas to start planting bulbs for spring and perennial fruits for next year as well. The days are usually mild too making working in the garden a delight rather than a chore. Here are some November jobs for those lovely fall days.

1.) Cool weather flowers.

1. Not all flowers are lovers of hot humid weather – some prefer the cooler sun of March and April. Poppies, pansies and sweet peas are just 2 of the many cool weather plants to get started now.

 

2.) Sweet Peas.

2. Sweet peas are some of the earliest annuals to flower and they prefer cooler spring days to hot summer ones. They are perfect for cottage gardens as well as a spring cover for a trellis. Many of the varieties are scented and they make great cut flowers as well as an early feast for pollinators. Pick a number of varieties to get a colorful fence in spring.

 

  • Sweet Pea, Sweet Dreams Mix, , large
  • Sweet Pea, High Scent, , large
  • Sweet Pea, Eckfords Finest Mix, , large

3.) Growing cool weather vegetables.

3. Many of the cabbage group of vegetables prefer cool but frost free weather. Others, like kales are quite happy to weather a frost. Long season onion family members also prefer cool spring weather. Get an early start on your edible containers or vegetable garden with some of these great cool weather vegetables but be ready with a cloth for those occasional frosty nights. Planting in a cold frame gets your cool plants an extra early start as well as protection from cool nights and even frost if needed.

4.) Lettuce for continuous harvest.

4. Early sown lettuce can be sown every few weeks to get many weeks of harvest. Pick cool season varieties followed by heat tolerant varieties for a long lettuce harvest. Kales, chards and cabbages are all worth sowing every few weeks for a long harvest.

 

  • Lettuce, Heatwave Blend, , large
  • Lettuce, All Season Romaine Blend, , large
  • Lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson, , large

5.) Protection from occasional frost.

5. Even the south gets late frosts which come after a nice spring warm up. For you vegetable garden and your annual flowers growing in the garden, this can be a major problem. Make sure that you have towels and cloths ready for these events. Even upturned flower pots can be used as an emergency cloche for your tender plants.

 

  • Floating Row Cover, , large
  • TunLcover, , large
  • Burpee Exclusive Adjustable Frost Protection Kit, , large