What work needs to be done in the garden in February in order to have time to prepare for the new season
Although the streets are still covered with snow in February, you can still feel the approach of spring. In addition to the long-awaited warming, this month brings with it a lot of troubles that lay the foundation for the future harvest. Therefore, gardeners and gardeners begin to actively prepare for spring work in February.
Snow blanket for garden and vegetable garden
A snowy winter is a great boon for the gardener. The white blanket reliably protects plant roots from freezing. So, every 10 cm of snow cover increases the temperature of the earth by 1 degree.
In February, snow retention work is usually continued in orchards and vegetable gardens. Sweeping paths, they lay the snow mass under the bushes and trees. Particular attention is paid to heat-loving plants: grapes, roses, strawberries. These crops need a more dense cover, so the layer of snow on them should be somewhat thicker. Spruce branches spread out on the surface of the earth at the base of tree trunks also retain moisture well.
Pruning and whitewashing trees
From late January to early March, there is a risk of frost damage and sunburn on the trunks of fruit trees. During the day, the unprotected crust is very hot, and at night it cools down to sub-zero temperatures. As a result of such changes, the walls of the cells of the bark are damaged, and the tissues of the tree die off.
In order to protect the plants during the February thaws, they check if the autumn rains have washed off the whitewash from the trunks. If necessary, it is renewed with a solution consisting of freshly slaked lime (2.5 kg), copper sulfate (0.5 kg) and water (10 l). If the frosty weather does not allow the trees to be whitewashed, they are wrapped in white non-woven material (paper), sprinkled with snow and trampled down a little.
February is the best month for winter pruning. When they are at rest, they experience less stress during this time, and the slices are more accurate. In addition, in the absence of foliage, the imperfections of the crown are clearly visible. Winter pruning is very important for fruit trees, because the quality of the future harvest and the tree's resistance to various diseases depend on this event. The first to prune in the winter garden are adult fruiting apple trees, then the branches of currants, gooseberries and hazel.
Preparation of planting material and garden tools
In the last month of winter, intensive preparation of planting material begins. Flower lovers buy seeds and are engaged in germination of ageratum, purslane, begonia, salvia, lobelia. Their small seeds are germinated in the light, without sprinkling with soil. Seeds of Shabo carnation, Waller's balsam and nirembergia are covered with a sand layer 2-3 mm thick. Dahlia and gladioli flower tubers stored until spring are examined for sprouting and damage.
The remaining seed stocks from the previous season and the condition of stored vegetables are checked for germination. Rotted specimens are immediately removed from storage. February is the optimal time for harvesting potato seed material, as well as its germination.
Gardening equipment is also subject to inspection. Malfunctions are repaired, missing devices are bought before the spring rush begins.
Prepare fertilizers and other preparations
In order for the spring sowing work to progress evenly and smoothly, experienced farmers stock up in advance with organic and mineral fertilizers: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, as well as complex fertilizing and means for the protection and control of pests and diseases - garden varnish, lime, fungicides, insecticides and other special preparations.
It will not be superfluous to also purchase disinfectants for seeds and growth stimulants.
Plant seeds for seedlings
For an early harvest, some seeds are sown for seedlings as early as February. So, in its first days, seeds of annual flowers are planted: gazania, lobelia, begonias, petunias, as well as seeds of sweet pepper and eggplant.
At the end of the first ten days of the month, black onions are planted, and in the last days of February, they start sowing early tomatoes for greenhouses, celery and early white cabbage. These crops are characterized by a long germination period, so their seedlings appear 2-3 weeks after sowing.
The resulting seedlings are planted in open ground or in a greenhouse in April-May. If you plan to grow vegetables at home on the windowsill, then the seeds of tomatoes and cucumbers are sown in mid-February.
Competently planned and timely carried out preparatory work on moisture retention, pruning, feeding of fruit and vegetable crops is the key to a good harvest. The right start is half a successful business, so experienced gardeners and farmers recommend starting preparations for spring sowing work in winter.
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Garden and garden work in February
Calendar of works in the garden and in the garden in February.
Work in the country in February. What needs to be done in the garden and in the garden in February. Everything you need to do in the country in February.
List of works in the garden and in the garden for February
1. Now is the best time to purchase soil for sowing seeds for seedlings. In my personal last year's experience, the most reliable are the soils of the Moscow firms "Fasco" and "Garden and Vegetable Garden". There are also good luxury soils based on humus from Voronezh chernozems. They are called "Garden land" and "Ground for peppers and tomatoes." Before sowing, add 1 teaspoon of the dust fraction of AVA fertilizer to each container for each kilogram of soil and mix well. Then the seedlings can not be fed with anything during the entire period of their growth.
You can, of course, prepare your own soil from a mixture of peat, sand and ash. On a bucket of peat, you should take half a bucket of sand and a liter can of ash. Instead of ash, you can take a liter jar of chalk. Peat is sold in shops for gardeners, and sand and chalk can be bought in the shops "Everything for the House" or "Building Materials".
Instead of a bucket of peat, you can use coconut substrate (one briquette per bucket of water). However, it should be remembered that these mixtures do not contain anything, therefore, when preparing them, any complex mineral fertilizer should be added to them, and the seedlings will have to be constantly watered not with water, but with a weak solution of such fertilizer (1 teaspoon per 3 liters of water). If you use liquid fertilizer, you should take 1 teaspoon per 5 liters of water. Complex fertilizers usually include not only nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, but also trace elements.
2. At home, you need to look at the tubers of dahlias and bulbs of gladioli: discard the sick, cut the ulcers on the bulbs, grease the wounds with brilliant green and put them back in storage. Disassemble the garlic and onions, discard the bad heads. Put those that have sprouted tightly to each other on moistened sphagnum moss or soil poured into a shallow container, and put them on the windowsill for early distillation on greens - anyway, the bulbs that have started to grow will not be saved until spring.
3. We need to take care of the seeds. Let me remind you again: that you should not buy seeds anywhere and from just anyone. Buy seeds only from brand stores. But before you go to the store, carefully review the stock of seeds that you have. You should not buy a lot of seeds for future use. It is better to think carefully about what and how much you are going to grow and whether you have suitable conditions for this on the site. Then make a plan for planting on site and in greenhouses. Calculate how much and what kind of seedlings you need to buy or grow in this area, and only after that start preparing containers for sowing seeds for seedlings.
4. Root celery should be sown at the very end of February, as it will take about 200 days to form a large root vegetable.
Take your time planting peppers, tomatoes and eggplant. Tall varieties and hybrids of peppers and eggplant can be sown on seedlings in the twenties of February, and tall tomatoes are best sown in early March.
Pepper seeds are difficult to germinate, so they need to be stimulated. To do this, dip them in a cloth in a thermos with hot water (plus 53 degrees) for half an hour, then take them out, put them on a saucer with a damp cloth and put them in the refrigerator under the freezer for a day. Then sow immediately. You don't have to bother with all this if you simply pour the seeds spread over the soil with a solution of "Zircon" (4 drops per half a glass of water), and then sprinkle them with soil on top and compact with a spoon.
Since peppers do not tolerate picking well (they easily break off, but sucking hairs recover for a long time), it is better to sow them immediately into half-liter containers, 3 seeds in each cup at a distance of 2 - 3 cm from each other. Peppers are not buried in the future, so they must be sown deeply at once, approximately to a depth of 3-4 cm. To prevent seedlings from appearing without shedding the shell from the seed, the soil must be moistened before planting, but not to dirt, but moderately, and compact with a tablespoon ... Then spread the seeds over the surface and sprinkle them on top with dry soil to a height of 4 cm, then compact again with a spoon. Place the cups under glass or plastic in a warm place. The peppers will sprout in a week if you create a soil temperature of about 28 - 32 degrees, but not higher than 40, otherwise the seeds will die. But even at temperatures below 20 degrees, pepper seeds can also die.
5. As soon as the first loop of shoots appears, without waiting for the others to appear, immediately transfer the containers to a bright, moderately cool place (about 15 degrees) for a week, then transfer them to a warmer (about 25 degrees), but bright place. After the cotyledon leaves open, immediately begin to give liquid top dressing, best of all with a solution of the Uniflor-Bud preparation, since peppers are big potassium lovers.
6. With the seeds of eggplant and tomato, no manipulations can be carried out, since they already have good germination. Sowing seeds of tomatoes and eggplants should be exactly the same as seeds of peppers, but only to a depth of 2 cm. Eggplants prefer nitrogen, therefore it is better to feed them with the preparation "Uniflor-growth". But tomatoes are lovers of phosphorus, so it is better to give them Uniflor-Bud as a top dressing, but add 1 - 2 grains of double granular superphosphate to the soil (no more than once a week).
While growing seedlings, nitrogen fertilization should not be overused, since nitrogen causes the seedlings to be pulled out, especially tomatoes. But phosphorus feeding, on the contrary, is a factor that inhibits growth.
7. Seedlings need good lighting, especially at the time of the cotyledons unfolding, so that at the point of plant growth, the correct development program provided for by this variety or hybrid is laid. With a lack of lighting at the point of growth, leaves will be laid, not buds, and fruiting will thus be delayed, because each next leaf appears in about 5-6 days, and the appearance of each extra leaf delays the appearance of buds.
8. Check the condition of the bulbs of onions, garlic, gladioli and dahlia tubers. If spots or sores appear on the bulbs of gladioli or tubers of dahlias, cut them out with a sharp knife, cover the sections with brilliant green and dust them with ash or a crushed aspirin tablet.
9. Plant sprouting heads of garlic and onions in a shallow container with sand or non-acidic soil tightly to each other and place on a windowsill. Water very sparingly, otherwise the bottom will begin to rot, and the room will be filled with fruit flies - Drosophila. In two weeks you have young greens.
Popular signs of the weather for February
❄ If the first three days are fine, then expect a fine spring.
❄ If there is a dim circle around the moon, then there will be frost.
Weather for tomorrow
❄ The wind is blowing, but there is no frost - there will be a blizzard.
❄ The fire in the stove is red - to frost, white - to thaw.
❄ Smoke from the chimney spreads along the ground - there will be snowfall.
❄ If crows sit on the tops of trees, there will be frost, if on the lower branches there will be wind, and if on the ground there will be a thaw.
❄ If dogs are lying in the snow, there will be a blizzard.
Prepare cuttings for grafting
If you are going to plant fruit trees in April, you need to choose a day when the air temperature will be above -5 ° C. Then you can go to the garden for cuttings.
Shoots are cut from healthy and productive trees of the desired variety, at the age of 5 - 10 years, preferably from the south side of the crown. The thickness of the shoots at the cut should be at least 8 mm, and the length - 35 - 60 cm. They are cut with a pruner or a garden knife.
Ideally, you need to choose shoots taking into account future spring pruning, so as not to cause much damage to the tree.
Do not touch the slices with your hands, as this can cause infection.
When harvesting shoots for cuttings, it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of different crops. In apple and pear, growth buds are formed mainly on annual growths, so there are no problems with them.
In stone fruits - plums, cherries, cherry plums, etc. - both growth and flowering buds are formed, and there are more flowering buds. If there are only such buds on the handle, after grafting it will bloom, but will not grow. Such unsuccessful vaccinations are especially common in cherries and cherries. Therefore, they give preference to cuttings with an apical bud, which is always of growth. In addition, in the lower part of the one-year growth, only flower buds are usually formed in cherries, so its shoots must be cut off, retreating from the base by about 20 cm.
Plum lays more growth buds than cherry, while apricot and peach have group buds, and one of the group has growth buds.
Vertically growing fatty shoots (tops) are unsuitable for grafting. They have poorly developed kidneys.
The shoots are tied in bunches, a moisture-resistant label with the name of the variety is attached and immediately stored. Keeping cuttings warm is unacceptable.
Sliced cuttings can be stored in the refrigerator until April, and if there is no place there, in the garden in a snowdrift. The thickness of the snow cover above the cuttings should be about 50 cm. Closer to spring, when it begins to melt from above and a crust may form, the snowdrift is covered with sawdust, wood chips, and straw to delay the melting.
In the spring, cuttings are taken out of the snow just in time for grafting.
Conifers and shrubs can survive many natural disasters, but not the spring sun - in the first 2 years of life it can destroy them. Why is not known for certain. But most experts agree that intense sunlight in February - March triggers the mechanism of photosynthesis in the needles. But since the ground is frozen and the roots do not work, this process uses up all the water from the cells. The needles dry up, turn brown, the plant "burns". And then the weakened tree finally finishes off the frost.
Most conifers need to be covered in the first two years after transplanting. The only exceptions are thuja and junipers - they are shaded from the sun for up to four years.
Spruce and pine branches are considered ideal shelters for conifers. It is best to make huts out of them. To do this, stick 5 strong twigs around the seedling and tie their tops with a rope. And then spruce branches are hung over the frame. For reliability, it can be tied to rods or screwed with wire. But keep in mind: the branches should cover not only the top of the Christmas tree, but also reach the very ground. Indeed, in winter, sunlight is reflected from the snow and falls on conifers, including from below.
If there is no coniferous forest nearby, you can use burlap as a shelter - they just wrap a Christmas tree with it and tie it with a rope.
A non-fabric to protect against burns will not work - it transmits light perfectly. Polyethylene (some summer residents are trying to cover their Christmas trees with black garbage bags) is also not good: under it the plants will mate.
It is possible to open conifers only when the ground thaws no less than the depth of a shovel bayonet. In the middle lane, this happens around the end of April.
You need to remove the shelter in cloudy weather. Ideal if you have studied the weather forecast in advance and opened the plants on the eve of an overcast period of 4-7 days. Then your conifers will be able to painlessly adapt to bright light.
The main spring work of a gardener-vegetable grower
April is a hot month for summer residents. At this time, spring work in the garden is in full swing. It is necessary to prepare the soil for planting plants, apply complex fertilizer for planting perennial crops, prepare a greenhouse and plant seedlings.
Preparing the soil for planting
In order for the seeds of cold-resistant crops: cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, beets and lettuce to germinate, the soil must warm up to +8 degrees, and heat-loving crops, such as pumpkin and cucumbers, need a temperature of +12 degrees.
Often winter does not want to give way to spring and the soil does not warm up for a long time. In this case, it should be heated artificially. It is required to calculate the sowing time and cover the beds with black plastic or garden material in 2 weeks. Thus, the soil will warm up faster and moisture will remain in the garden. After planting seedlings in warm soil, it will move faster into growth.
Planting seedlings of flowers and vegetables
Young plants grown at room temperature must get used to lower temperatures before planting in the ground in the garden, so they should be hardened in advance. When the temperature outside the window is above zero and there is no wind, boxes with seedlings (read how to grow it correctly) should be taken out into the garden. Sunbathing will only benefit her. In the evening, the boxes are brought into the house, and if night frosts are not expected, they are left outside, but wrapped in foil or spandbond.
When growing seedlings in a greenhouse, more ventilation is required to harden the young plants. It is necessary to prepare seedlings a couple of weeks before planting in open soil.
Before planting, we remove the seedlings together with a lump of earth from abundantly spilled boxes with seedlings and plant them in the prepared grooves in the garden bed. You need to transplant in the evening or on a cloudy day. During transplanting, part of the main root is removed and the plant is buried to the first leaves. New plantings are well watered and once again compact the soil near the plants, trying not to damage the young leaves.