Annuals and Containers
- Continue protecting tender container plants from freezing temperatures, and don’t forget to water!
- Fertilize winter-blooming pansies with a bloom-boosting fertilizer.
- Plant poppy seeds by spreading the seeds on top of the last snow of the season.
- Zones 9 and warmer can plant spring annuals outdoors following the last frost.
Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs
- Inspect stored fruits and vegetables and discard any that are spoiled.
- Fertilize winter vegetable plants if needed.
- If you haven’t already done so, prune dormant fruit trees and grape vines.
- Give your potted herbs a dose of nutrition by replacing the top inch of soil with fresh compost.
- If you haven’t already, apply dormant spray to fruit trees before new growth begins.
- If you’ve started plants in a cold frame, be sure to ventilate it on warm days.
- Zones 8 and higher can plant cool-season vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, and kale.
- Protect houseplants from drafts and cold temperatures, and make sure plants don’t touch cold window glass.
- Increase humidity around tropical plants.
- Water regularly, but less often, and reduce fertilization.
- Prune house plants if needed.
- Repot your holiday cactus if needed, but remember they like to be pot-bound.
Cleanup and Maintenance
- If the ground isn’t frozen, till your garden and work in amendments.
- Avoid using salt on frozen driveways and sidewalks – use sand, organic kitty litter, or sawdust instead.
- As you prune, look for brown praying mantis egg cases, and replace them gently back into the plant since praying mantises eat other garden pests.
- Do a late winter maintenance of all your garden tools. Sharpen blades, replace broken tools, repair handles, and oil moving parts to get ready for spring.
- Start up your power tools, such as your lawn mower, chainsaw, or weed trimmer. If needed, you can drop them off at the repair shop before the spring rush.
- Even during the winter, remember to water your plants. Cold air removes moisture from plants faster than they can absorb it, and newly planted trees and shrubs are particularly vulnerable.
- Go out on a nice day and turn your compost pile.
- Keep those bird feeders filled!
- Make out your garden calendar, including planting dates and seed germination times.
- Place orders for seeds, vegetables, and ornamental plants.
- Start seed flats indoors, in bright indirect light or under a grow-light, for spring planting outdoors.
- Valentine’s Day flower arrangements will stay fresher if kept out of strong sunlight.