Ice and Snow and cold
- So far, we have experienced one of the lowest winter snow accumulations, but we still have two months of possible snowfall. If we get enough snow to weigh down branches, remove it by using a broom underneath to repeatedly but gently lift the branches. If branches are weighted by ice, allow the sun and temperature to melt the ice to avoid snapping the branches. It may take a while for the branches to recover, but they will.
- Open coldframes when the temperature is over 45 degrees and close at night.
- Look for ‘February Gold’ daffodil to emerge by mid-month, along with other early blooming spring bulbs.
- When a freeze is predicted, cover with a loose layer of leaves or a light-weight sheet overnight.
- Pull back matted leaf mulch to check on spring bulbs. If its foliage is white to pale, remove the leaves to expose the new foliage to the sun.
- Cut back last year’s perennial stems.
- Remove ivy from brick structures as it damages the mortar. Repair trellises and other support structures.
- ROSES: Order bare-root roses to plant mid-March to mid-April. Add 3” woodchip mulch to roses to keep the soil warm.
- Take cutting of geraniums for planting in May. Continue to mist and check for insects.
- Cut back poinsettias to 4-6”.
- Order northern-grown deciduous and evergreen plants to guarantee hardiness. Plant when the ground is workable.
- Thomas Jefferson’s initial planting of English peas was February 1, with harvest mid-May. Successive seeding gave him peas to mid-July.
- To know when to seed, check the seed packet that notes the number of days from seeding to planting out. Count back from mid-April, our last average frost date, to determine when to plant indoors.
- Mid-February, plant spinach.
When using a potting soil that contains sphagnum moss, wear gloves or wash your hands often, as the moss carries a fungal disease that enters the skin through cuts and scratches.