Hello again garden friends! I hope everyone is safe and doing well.

The most recent rainfall has been a blessing. I know the rainfall came all at once, but that is California weather and it is not much different than other years.

Let’s discuss February’s garden responsibilities. The month of February can be wet, cool and windy, or daytime temperatures can rise. This signals plants, trees and spring bulbs to bud and bloom.

At this time; it’s perfect to think about and purchase summer flower and vegetable seeds. Sow seeds when night temperatures reach 50 degrees.

Unfortunately, all this dampness brings out snails and slugs. I like to search, find and dispose of the creatures rather than use bait.

Weeding is another February chore. Again, rather than spray a harmful herbicide, take the time to remove by hand or hoeing.

If you haven’t pruned your stone fruit trees and roses, you still have time. Also, begin bare root planting.

This is your opportunity to fertilize your fruit trees. Recreate a new water basin, cultivate in blend fertilizer, top-dress with either worm castings or organic compost and spray an application of Penetrate surfactant. Spray on top of top dressing. Both products can be ordered through John & Bob’s smart soil solutions.

Continue to harvest citrus fruit; it is especially important to pick up, any fallen fruit. Rodents, opossums and racoon love spent fruit.

If you raise garden vegetables in raise beds continue to incorporate organic material. I like using cut up banana peels, oatmeal, coffee grounds, spent autumn leaves and some wood ash from the fireplace. Note, only use hardwood ash, not pine.

Additionally, take the time every day and walk your garden. This will help you to appreciate and understand your garden and needs.

Mark Koehler

Mark Koehler of Los Banos is an arborist and master gardener, who has degrees in Landscape Architecture and Landscape Horticulture from UC Berkeley and Northeastern University.