February Around Your Garden-Florida Edition

Our Florida expert offers tips and ideas for you.
David W. Marshall

Colorful Blooms
 Replenish tired flowerbeds with cool-weather annuals for a bright display that will last until the heat arrives in early summer. Choices include snapdragons, dianthus, nemesias, diascias, sweet alyssums, petunias, calibrachoas (million bells), lobelias, and chrysocephalums. Plant in full sun, water three times a week, and feed monthly with a fertilizer such as Sta-Green All Purpose Slow Release Plant Food 19-6-12 or Dynamite Organic All-Purpose 10-2-8.

Whole State

  • EDITOR’S PICK―Make pruning easier with quality tools. Whether you are right-handed or left-handed, with small hands or big, there is a Felco pruner made for you. Also be sure to try a Felco saw. Purchase these tools online from www.felcostore.com.
  • GROUND COVERS AND ORNAMENTAL GRASSES―Before new growth emerges, trim brown, damaged leaves from ground covers (such as liriope and ferns) and from ornamental grasses (such as purple fountain grass and maiden grass).

North and Central

  • SALAD GARDEN―Take advantage of the remaining cool weather to grow vegetables. Set out transplants of Swiss chard, radishes, parsley, and lettuce. You can add these plants to your garden or to pots.
  • FLOWERING TREES―Redbuds, deciduous magnolias, Taiwan flowering cherries, and red maples are among the first trees to bloom. For late-winter color, add one of these small- to medium-size trees to a sunny area of your landscape.

Central and South

  •  HERBS―Plant basil, chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, Mexican tarragon, oregano, sage, and thyme. Most herbs need full sun and can be grown in containers. Select a pot that’s large enough to allow the roots to grow and has drainage holes.
  • PALMS―Use a fertilizer such as Vigoro Palm & Ixora Food 6-5-12 or Lesco 8-10-10 Palm and Tropical Ornamental Fertilizer.

South

  • LAWNS―Late this month or in early March, feed your lawn with a low-phosphorus fertilizer such as Vigoro Ultra Turf Centipede Turf Fertilizer 15-0-15.
  • TRUMPET TREES―Several species of tabebuia flower in late winter and early spring, creating a showy spectacle. Plant yellow tabebuia (Tabebuia caraiba), purple trumpet tree (T. impetiginosa), or pink trumpet tree (T. heterophylla) in a sunny spot in your landscape.