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Southwest: February Backyard To-Do Listing

February within the Southwest is a good time to get again into your backyard. Winter is coming to an finish, and spring is correct across the nook, which makes it a super time to get planting!

Fertilize your fruit bushes. The quantity of natural fertilizer you want is determined by the scale of your tree. Test your favourite fertilizer model’s instructions to make sure that you’re feeding your bushes sufficiently. Bear in mind to offer your fruit bushes a deep and wholesome dose of water the day earlier than you fertilize.

frost damage on slipper plant
The frost harm on this slipper plant (Euphorbia lomellii, Zones 9–11) ought to be pruned off. Photograph: Laurel Startzel

Late February is the proper time to start out pruning overgrown or frost-bitten shrubs, cacti, and perennials. Test your Texas ranger (Leucophyllum frutescens, Zones 8–10), salvias (Salvia spp. and cvs., Zones 5–11), grasses, and deciduous fruit bushes. When slicing again broken leaves or paddles out of your cacti and succulents, make sure you minimize at an angle. Mud the open wounds with powdered sulphur to assist forestall fungal infections. After getting pruned your perennials, water them deeply, however wait to fertilize till you see new progress.

‘Jeannine’ allium
Plant summer-flowering bulbs like this ‘Jeannine’ allium (Allium moly ‘Jeannine’, Zones 3–9). Photograph: Michelle Gervais

Plant spring- and summer-blooming crops. Now is a good time to plant these summer-flowering bulbs akin to daffodils (Narcissus spp. and cvs., Zones 3–9), crocuses (Crocus spp. and cvs., Zones 3–8), alliums (Allium spp. and cvs., Zones 4–8), and ranunculus (Ranunculus spp. and cvs., Zones 8–11). It’s additionally a very good time to plant decorative grasses, spring and summer time perennials, and frost-tender shrubs. As at all times, proceed to observe the climate for any chilly snaps. For those who’re involved in regards to the chilly, simply cowl up your newly planted shrubs and perennials with a frost fabric.

Preserve your hummingbirds fed with pollinator-friendly crops, and clear the hummingbird feeders repeatedly. Photograph: Laurel Startzel

Feed the hummingbirds. Hopefully you’ve been holding these hummingbirds fortunately fed all through the winter together with your pollinator-friendly crops. For those who additionally deal with them to a feeder, make certain you retain it clear and recent, swapping out the nectar each six to seven days within the winter and each two to a few days within the hotter months. Though some individuals regulate their sugar-to-water ratios to maintain the combination from freezing, it’s beneficial that you just proceed to make use of a 1:4 sugar-to-water ratio year-round. Though including extra sugar prevents it from freezing as shortly, it’s higher for the birds’ well being to maintain the combination constant. For those who’re nonetheless experiencing chilly nights, do what we do and produce your feeders in at night time, then cling them exterior once more within the wee hours of the morning earlier than the hummingbirds begin to feed.

Aphids and ants cowl this Volkamer lemon tree (Citrus volkameriana, Zones 9–11). Spray aphids with soapy water. Photograph: Scot Nelson

Test your fruit bushes for indicators of aphids. Aphids have a tendency to cover out beneath leaves and out of direct daylight. They vary in colour from inexperienced to black, and so they assault the plant by sucking the sap from the leaves. For those who discover them, use a twig of water or soapy water to take away them out of your leaves earlier than the issue worsens. One other approach to forestall aphids is to ask some ladybugs to your gardens to assist detract any future infestations, since ladybugs love feasting on aphids.

—Sheila Schultz and Laurel Startzel are a mother-daughter duo who based Denver Soiled Ladies Container Gardening whereas residing in Denver and have continued their enterprise since shifting to Tucson, Arizona.



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