Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern & Central Midwest

February, 2001
Regional Report

Sow Cool-Season Crops

It's time to start sowing seeds of onion, leek, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, lettuce, endive, spinach, turnips, kohlrabi, and Chinese cabbage and heading cabbage indoors under lights. Seedlings started now can go into the garden 2-4 weeks before the last frost. Use sterile potting mix and well-drained pots or flats.

Start Pruning

This time of year we get occasional warm days, so if you're ready, you can start pruning. It's good to start early, since gardening chores will pile up in another month or so. Find your pruning saw, pruners, and loppers, sharpen them, and bone up on pruning principles for different trees and shrubs.

Shower Houseplants

This is a good time to shower off your houseplants with warm water. As the days lengthen, many houseplants start their spring surge of growth. They are more apt to thrive if their leaf pores are free of dust. It's easy to clean them in the shower with a hand-held sprayer and a strong spray of water.

Order Compost

If you plan to add soil, compost, or manure to your garden and don't have your own, start locating sources now. City compost facilities and private companies start delivering compost as soon as the ground thaws. Have your name put on the waiting list so you will get yours early.

Get Planting Supplies Ready

Get all your supplies ready for seed starting before sowing the first seeds. Find or buy seed-starting mix, flats and flat covers, and seeds. Many smaller items often get overlooked until planting time. Don't forget labels, permanent markers, and fertilizer as well.


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