February in Georgia: Garden Checklist

The acclaimed Walter Reeves has given us a great list of garden”to-do’s” for February, weather permitting. We’ve identified those that are most relevant.

• Redesign your lawn for easier mowing. Eliminate sharp angles and narrow turf areas. Use mulch, new flower beds or a groundcover like mondo grass there instead.

• The brown foliage on pampas grass and maiden grass can be pruned away now. Leave only a “crew cut” of brown stems twelve inches high.

• Overgrown Burford holly shrubs can be pruned severely now. Even if it is reduced to twelve inches tall, this shrub will resprout plenty of new foliage by summer.

• Clean out bird boxes so they will be ready to welcome new residents in a few weeks.

• Build raised beds for vegetables, roses and herbs. It’s easy to do with four pieces of 2×8 wood planks. Choose lengths that fit your space; bolt them together at the corners.

• Reduce the size of your butterfly bush by two thirds to one half to encourage new growth (and big blooms) this summer.

• Time for the first fertilization of fescue for the year. Any brand of turf fertilizer will work well. Next application: April.

• Set your mower to its highest setting and cut off the tattered leaves of liriope (monkey grass). They will quickly regrow in March.