February can be the month where we start to get a little shack happy. Luckily, it’s only 28 days long, and then we’ll be turning the corner into spring. While you’re waiting for warmer temps and the chance to get out and tend to your bulbs & bushes, we have a few activities to help make you feel like spring is growing ever nearer – even if your crocuses still have a few weeks to go!
Now is the time to take out that seed catalog and place your order. By the time your seeds arrive, it will be roughly 10-12 weeks before the last frost, which is the ideal time to start many of them. Here’s a handy planting guide for Zone 4, which includes information on starting seeds both indoors & out. This will allow you time to gather all of your seed-starting equipment so you’ll have a jump on your planting. Consider planting something new this year like nasturtium or kohlrabi. Nasturtium flowers make a delicious pesto and kohlrabi is one of those veggies that will be the talk of your table when you serve it.
With the exception of the temperature, it’s easier to prune your crab apple trees in February (if they’re not covered in snow) because the branches are free of foliage. This clear view of what’s going on can put your freshly sharpened pruning shears to good use! Any dormant woody plants will benefit from a little winter shaping. Maples, lilacs, or any other trees that “bleed” are best left until spring, however.
It may not seem like the most joy-inducing activity, but decluttering your garden shed is a pastime that you’ll thank yourself for doing once spring has sprung. Whether it’s multiple tools of the same variety or stacks of terra cotta pots, too much of a good thing is still too much! Many garden centers or second-hand stores will be happy to take these items off your hands so you can focus on having only what you need in your garden shed. Take an inventory so you’re ready for action once our beautiful Minnesota spring days arrive. Checking the dates on your fertilizers and other garden chemicals could be the catalyst you need for transitioning to more natural pest & plant disease management.
Consider landscaping upgrades to your pavers, walkways, and patio areas. After the tumultuous winter we’ve had, you deserve to treat yourself to a backyard oasis come spring! Think about how nice it will be to entertain friends and family once again. Your home has been your sanctuary for many months now, and being able to share these spaces with those you love is reason enough to make them the most inviting that they can be.