February Birth Flower - Violet

Household Tips

  • Check air pressure in tires for better gas mileage.
  • Clean or replace heating filter. Your filter should have a MERV rating of 8 or higher.
  • Vacuum coils on refrigerator.
  • Use mineral spirits, white appliance wax or a waterless hand cleaner to remove heel marks on linoleum.
  • Store batteries in refrigerator to extend life.
  • Clean and sharpen garden tools.
  • After a snowstorm check your home's roof. Spots where the snow has melted indicate heat loss.
  • Time for an annual test and check of the fire extinguishers.
  • Coffee has an off taste? Time to clean the coffeemaker. Mix 2 Tbs. white vinegar with 12 cups cold water (to fill the pot). Pour the mixture in the coffeemaker. Run through a complete cycle. Repeat vinegar water mix if hasn't been cleaned in several months. Turn off and let coffeemaker cool. Run water only through coffeemaker to clean out vinegar mix. Repeat if necessary. Wash the pot and filter with warm soapy water and rinse. Clean coffeemaker once a month. That will help remove mineral and oil buildup plus kill bacteria and eliminate odors.
  • Clean your dishwasher and washing machine. Recipes here.

Lawn and Garden Tips

  • If the soil is dry and not frozen, water all plants that were planted last year.
  • Great time to prune trees. Make sure the temperature is above 20 degrees so young bark will not be injured. Do not treat pruned areas with black tree paint. Forestry tests show that tree pruning wounds heal over quicker if not treated with black tree paint. However, there is a new product that you should paint over pruned areas. Developed in Germany, it is called CUT GUARD. CUT GUARD is a biological plant wound dressing.

        » Contains no "black asphalt petroleum"
        » Environmentally friendly formulation
        » Contains concentrated natural signaling substances for plant  recovery and growth
        » Protects wound from insect, fungi, and decay
        » Stimulates callus wound tissue formation for sealing and compartmentalization
        » Remains flexible on the wound for 12-18 months

  • Don't prune spring flowering trees and shrubs until after they are finished blooming.
  • Tender shrubs like crape myrtle, beauty berry, bluemist spirea, and butterfly bush should not be pruned back until new growth starts in the spring.
  • Don't cut back ornamental grasses until early April.
  • When pruning fruit trees, make sure the temperature is above 20 degrees so young bark will not be injured. Also be sure to prune before dormant sprays are done.
  • To control peach leaf curl, spray with Bonide Copper Fungicide before the buds begin to swell. The temperature should be above 40 degrees for at least 6 hours.
  • Prune grapes, raspberries and blackberries late in the month.
  • If you plan to plant fruit trees this spring, check out starkbros.com.
  • Order seeds now for spring planting.
  • February 1 - 15 start onion seeds indoors.
  • February 15 - 28 start seeds of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts indoors for planting into the garden this spring.
  • February 15 - 28, if garden soils aren't too wet, plant peas, lettuce, spinach, and radishes. Most years you'll get a great early harvest.
  • Tune up mower and sharpen blade
  • Bring geraniums out of their resting place when new growth appears. Give as much sun as possible and water weekly. Plant after May 1st.