February Zone 5

What to do in the garden in February in zone 5

You still can’t actually do a lot IN the garden, but there are gardening related activities you can do.

  • Plan  Relax with a stack of garden catalogs and plan for the next season.  Plot your garden or property on graph paper.
  • Plant flowers  Force bulbs
  • Order seeds  Order seeds early, some sell out quickly.
  • Re-apply anti-desiccant  If you get a nice day above freezing, reapply anti-desiccant spray to evergreens.
  • Start vegetable seeds  By mid February you can start broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and lettuce.  By the end of February or in March you can start seeds for tomatoes, peppers, annuals and perennials.
  • Start annual seeds  By mid February you can start seeds for cool season annuals such as pansies and alyssum.
  • Feed the birds
  • Sort tubers  Sort through stored tubers, roots and bulbs for dahlias, cannas, glads and begonias.  Dispose of anything that has shriveled or decayed.
  • Garden Journal  Work on, or start, your garden journal.  Keep track of plants you want to try, record garden results, keep track of what you plant where and how many for a shopping list next spring.
  • Attend seminars  Find seminars, clinics and meetings hosted by master gardeners and university extension services.
  • Prepare tools  Clean and sharpen your garden tools.
  • Tune up the mower  Beat the rush and take it in now.
  • Check sales  Garden centers may have some great prices on garden accessories and tools left from last year.
  • Check hoses  Check hoses for leaks and sprinklers for cracks or damage.
  • Check stock  Check stock of all gardening necessities such as hand tools, fertilizers, rose and fruit tree sprays, and make a list of what you need


  • Build a cold frame  With a cold frame you can plant cool season crops such as radishes, spinach, and lettuce in March or April.
  • Prepare the cold frame  By the end of February it is time to set up the cold frame.
  • Build garden structures  It may be warm enough out in the garage to start building window boxes, arbors and garden benches.
  • Plant tubers  Buy tubers for begonias and plant them in pots indoors now, they will be ready for your window box or planters by spring.  You will save a lot of money versus buying potted plants at the garden center.
  • Leave snow on the evergreens alone  Do not try to remove wet heavy snow from evergreens, you could do more harm than good.  Evergreen limbs remain supple through winter and will bend under the weight, but hopefully will not crack.
  • Prune  By end of the month you may get days nice enough to get out and prune trees and shrubs.  Don’t prune any spring flowering shrubs and trees, as the buds have already formed.  Do not prune oaks, elm or walnut until fall.
  • Remove debris  By end of the month if the snow is gone you may be able to start clearing leaves and debris from the yard and around the shrubs. 
  • Prep the gardens  As soon as the soil is thawed and dried, work in compost or manure.  The soil may not be ready until next month.
calendarSharon Dwyer