Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Rocky Mountains

February, 2001
Regional Report

Water Houseplants

Be careful not to overwater your indoor houseplants. Houseplants die more frequently from overwatering than underwatering. Watering frequency will vary with type of plant, size and kind of pot, proximity to heating vents, and light and temperature conditions in your home. Stick your finger into the potting soil, 1 to 2 inches deep, and if the soil feels damp, you generally don\'t need to water.

Store Soil and Fertilizers

If you have open bags of potting soil, fertilizer packages, peat moss, and compost, store them in sturdy plastic trash cans. This will protect them from moisture and prevent them from caking. It also helps keep the garage or storage room neat and clean.

Wait to Prune Grapes

Avoid the urge to prune grapevines in February. It's still winter, and pruning can stimulate early bud growth during warm spells. This young and succulent growth is more vulnerable to frost damage, stressing the vine. Stressed grapevines will yield less fruit and may even die.

Clean Bird Feeders

Keep bird feeders filled with a fresh supply of seed, especially black oil sunflower seed. Clean the feeder every few weeks to prevent the spread of diseases. Keep our feathered friends healthy and happy with a supply of open water, too. Birdbaths can be kept from freezing by placing a birdbath deicer in the water.

Plant a Golden Crabapple

If you have the space in your landscape, consider buying a golden crabapple variety called 'Golden Raindrops'. It produces abundant flowers in spring, which are followed by bunches of pea-size golden fruits in the late summer. This crabapple is disease resistant and a vigorous grower, reaching a height of 15 feet, with an upright habit and attractive oak-shaped leaves.


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