Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Pacific Northwest

February, 2009
Regional Report

Prepare New Beds

When the soil is dry enough to work, till the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Spread a 3-inch-thick layer of compost or well-rotted manure over the bed and dig it in, then rake the bed smooth. The bed is now ready to plant once the weather warms.

Protect Fruit Trees

Spray apple, cherry, peach, and pear trees with lime-sulfur or fixed copper to prevent diseases this spring. Apply dormant oil sprays now to control scale insects on the bark. Apply all sprays on a calm, dry day when temperatures are above 40F and rain is not predicted for 24 hours.

Plant Asparagus

Plant bare-root plants of asparagus, horseradish, and rhubarb this month. Asparagus crowns are best planted in a 1-foot-deep trench that's filled in as the plant grows. Plant in a full-sun location in soil amended with compost. Keep the area well watered this summer and weed free for best growth.

Prune Clematis

After the danger of hard frost is past, prune fall-flowering clematis back to the strongest stems. Wait until after blooming is finished on spring-flowering clematis before pruning. After pruning, broadcast fertilizer on the soil beneath the plants, scratch it in, and water well.

Divide Perennials

Divide summer- and fall-flowering perennials such as chrysanthemums and Shasta daisies now to promote better bloom later this year. Wait until autumn to divide spring-flowering perennials such as candytuft, bleeding heart, and creeping phlox.


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