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:
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Teresa is a garden author, and host of her gardening radio show, "In Your Backyard", every Tuesday 1pm EST on My790am.com.
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1.) Keep the Holidays Going.
1. Stave off the winter blues by replanting your February gardens with colorful annuals, herbs and perennials. Beautiful flowers and vegetables that can handle drastic temperature drops and still provide colorful displays right now include alyssum, baby’s breath, delphinium, hollyhocks, and lobelias. February holidays to celebrate include National Carrot Day (Feb. 3rd), Valentine’s Day, (Feb 14th), National Chocolate Mint Day (Feb 19th ), National Chili Day (Feb 22nd ), Washington’s Birthday (Feb 22nd – but celebrated on Feb 19th) , and Leap Year (Feb 29th). National Strawberry Day – February 27 – Florida is the winter strawberry growing capital of the world (UF). Celebrate National Strawberry Day by planting strawberry plants in your garden or seeds in your strawberry pot. Camarosa and Sweet Charlie strawberries are recommended varieties for Florida.
2.) Valentine Flowers.
2. Surprising your sweetheart with a lovely annual or perennial could win their love. Love Lies Bleeding, Amaranthus caudatus, is the symbol for hopeless love. But this edible plant, including the leaves and seeds, is not hopeless in Zone 9 gardens. Great for wildlife landscapes, birds love amaranths for their seeds. I heart violas. Viola tricolor has many common names, including Johnny Jump up, heart's ease, heart's delight, or tickle-my-fancy. Easy to grow, and in the right conditions of partial shade and adequate moisture, they will return each year.
3.) National Chili Day
3. February can be the coldest month out of the year. It is the perfect time for making chili. To highlight the benefits of chili, the 4rth Thursday in February is fêted as National Chili Day. Delicious chili can also help you with your exercise regimen. According to NationalChiliday.com, hot chili peppers burn calories by triggering a thermodynamic burn in the body, which speeds up the metabolism. That’s worth celebrating!
4.) Presidential Fruit Trees
4. February is the ideal time to plant dormant fruit trees. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew persimmon trees. Persimmons are pretty, flowering trees which will produce fruit, and are zoned for Florida landscapes.
5.) Containers for Valentine's Day.
5. Need to find containers for Valentine’s Day plants? Three topiary pots of rosemary will set a lovely table for a special dinner for two. Plant your chocolate mints, violas, and strawberries in these charming log planters that will look great on any porch or patio.