East Tennessee's Mountain Views

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P.O. Box 209

Vonore, TN 37885


February in the Garden

Tuesday, February 1st, 2022 | Uncategorized | No Comments

By Lisa Grugin

T.S. Elliot may say that April is the cruelest month, but my vote for that distinction goes to February. It is cold and dreary, my bank account and waistline are still trying to recover from the holidays, and trying to get ready for spring this year makes me want to swear and drink alcohol.

I digress. February is actually a good time for gardeners because it’s when the dreaming and planning can begin. You are stuck inside where you can watch all those gardening shows or go through Pinterest and plan the beautiful garden of your dreams. I will remind you, however, that some of those lovely plants you see will not do well here. Also many of the gardening programs show lawns so desperately overplanted that I want to call the producer and scream ugly things at them. Like overpriced landscaping companies, they will install 60 plants when 20 is a far more reasonable number. They want things to look TV ready and don’t give a flying flip that you will be pulling up or cutting down half the plants in 3-5 years because of overcrowding.

Swearing, drinking, screaming… can you tell I don’t like winter?

There will be some pretty days this month, and that is when you need to go outside and do a good walk around. Do you have plants that need to be pruned, divided, or moved? Do you have some that need to be composted? Do you have bare spots that need to be filled? Do you have too many deciduous shrubs and not enough evergreens, or do you have a sea of green with no color interest?

This is also a good time to visualize changes that you would like to make. Do you want to add any structures or hardscapes? Would you like a new patio, fountain, fire pit, or seating area? Think about what you want to see, then talk to us about how you can make it happen.

While you are out there, check for problems or potential problems. Remember to look up, down, and all around. Look up at tree branches to see if you have sparse canopies, broken or damaged branches, loose bark, woodpecker holes, or mushrooms. Look down for weeds, mole tunnels, vole holes, or shallow holes where possums, skunks, or raccoons are digging for grubs. Look all around for signs of disease or overwintering insects. Make notes and call us if you have any questions.

Here are some other things that you can do this month:

* Are you going to do a veggie garden this year? This is a good time to get it ready by tilling processed manure and compost into the soil. If you have raised beds or container gardens, work in compost with a shovel or trowel so the nutrients can begin spreading into the soil.

* By the end of the month, it will (hopefully) be warm enough for you to sow greens, lettuce, peas, radishes, and onions. If you have a cold frame, you can start cold weather veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.

* Perennial herbs can be planted indoors, but wait a little longer on annuals and warm season vegetables. There is always a race to see who can get tomatoes earliest, but remember that if you plant in cold soil, you will get much less fruit. Patience is a virtue!

* A 3″ layer of mulch on gardens and flower beds helps keep the temperature and moisture levels of the soil more stable. Remember to make donuts and not volcanoes around trees. Piling mulch around the trunk damages it.

* Yes, you can prune. Educate yourself about what you should and shouldn’t prune and how to prune properly. Please do not commit Crepe murder, and do not prune your spring bloomers or you will have no blooms.

* This is a great time to cut out the privet, honeysuckle, and wild grapes that hide amongst your shrubs. You can also get some really good exercise pulling weeds. Herbicides will not work when it is cold, so please check the directions for minimum spraying temperatures.

* Do not forget the birds. They are having a hard time in the cold and will really appreciate a full, clean feeder. High fat foods such as black oil sunflower seeds and suet will help them stay warm. A heated birdbath will create a spa!

We are still experiencing some challenges with supply chain issues and grower lag. Some trees and shrubs will take 3-5 years to reach sellable size, so you may see smaller sizes. Some plants will simply be unavailable for now. We are also having trouble sourcing some bagged goods, chemicals, birding supplies, and gift items. Please be patient. We are doing the best we can.

I know you will soon have lots of questions about your plants, so don’t hesitate to give us a call or stop by. We want to help you have a beautiful yard!

Meadow View Greenhouses & Garden Center
9885 Highway 11E
Lenoir City, TN  37772

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East Tennessee's Mountain Views

P.O. Box 209

Vonore, TN 37885

Email: inquiry@etmv.com

865-657-3077 Local

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