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February

  • Prune trees and shrubs, both ornamental and fruit trees
  • Check flower beds for plants that may have heaved
  • Replace mulch where needed
  • Check outside plants for animal damage
  • Cut some branches for forcing
  • Check evergreens for signs of desiccation
  • Start seed for cool season veggies
  • Apply dormant oil to fruit trees
 
 
 

February 16th and 17th, 2013
Manhattan Area Garden Show
Pottorf Hall at Cico Park
Check out our booth and pick up a new event card for 2013

February 23rd and 24th, 2013
Manhattan Home Show
Vist with our staff at the Manhattan National Guard Armory with your landscape questions.

 
Horticulture Hints
 

Seed Starting

It’s the time of year when we want to get our hands in the soil again. It is way too early to plant in the garden but you may want to try starting a few seeds inside. In February you can start a someearly spring crops such as cole crops and pansies, be sure and read the germination times. Wait to start Tomatoes until 8 weeks before the frost free date of May 5th.

Try not to go overboard when looking at the seed catalogs and purchase too many things. Draw out your garden space and plan what you are going to plant and purchase accordingly. Keep good records of the time you started your seeds and the variety. It would be wise to even keep a journal of your success with germination, transplanting, and the winners you had in the garden. Next year you can look at your notes and decide the best varieties and have a more accurate idea when to start your seeds.

When picking a container make sure you have drainage holes. Black flats work well with inserts, or you could even use egg cartons or yogurt containers. We carry a line of Jiffy 7’s that come in assorted sizes of peat pots that you can transplant right into the garden without removing the seedlings from the container. I would not recommend clay pots. The clay tends to wick moisture away from your delicate seedlings.

Use good quality soil. Garden soil can introduce disease, cause damping off, and hold too much moisture. A soilless mix such as Ferti∙lome Seedling and Cutting Mix is light and works perfect for starting seeds.

After planting seeds, cover trays with plastic wrap or domes to keep the moisture level constant. You should check your seeds daily for moisture content and germination. If you find you need to water, place in a basin with 2 to 3 inches of warm water and let it absorb. Use a spray bottle to apply a fine mist to the top if it has dried out. Never water heavily from the top.

Keep seeds warm to help with germination. A heating mat designed for seed starting works best. You may also try the top of your refrigerator or in a warm area.

Good air circulation is important to having strong plants and keeping disease down. Place a small fan near your seedlings. Keep the fan on low and direct it to blow across the containers at the soil level where the air may become trapped and stagnant.

If you are using plastic wrap remove as soon as the seeds have sprouted. You can leave the domes on a bit longer, but check that you are not causing too much heat to occur in your mini greenhouse. This could cause burning of your delicate seedling leaves.

To provide proper lighting use a grow light system or a sunny, south-facing window. When using a window turn your plants daily a quarter of a turn to prevent overreaching toward the light. This will also help develop strong stems.

Fertilize with a soluble fertilizer at half strength. Most soil mixes contain no fertilizer but double check your bag. Ferti∙lome Geranium, Hanging Basket and Pansy works well, a 20-20-20 with micronutrients.

Before seedlings can be planted outdoors, they need to be hardened off. This is best when done over several days. Placing them in the shade at first for a few hours then introducing them to the morning sun a few hours, increasing their time outside each day. Check frost warnings, cole crops can take cooler temperatures, but more sensitive plants you should wait until the danger of frost has passed.

We have bulk seeds in stock, all your seed starting supplies and more seed racks coming in any day. Let us help you get started!

 
Nancy's Notebook
 

Nancy’s Notes

If you want to bring some spring color into your home you should try forcing blooms from your spring flowering shrubs. It is really easy to do, just follow these easy steps and you will have spring early.

Branches should be collected on a warm winter day and should be 12” – 14” long with many large flower buds. Flower buds on most plants are larger and often roundish compared to leaf buds. Forsythia shoots located at the top will often contain the most flower buds.

Before placing your branches in a vase remove side branches and buds that will be submerged in water to prevent rot. Change the water in the vase daily to prevent foul odors and reduce the potential for rot.

Put your vase in low light and cool temperatures. Spray lightly with water two to three times per day to prevent buds from drying out. Once flowers begin to emerge, move plants to a brighter room, but keep them out of direct sunlight. Keep flowers in a cooler location, away from direct heat sources, to prolong the bloom.

Some great plants to force are forsythia, quince, redbud, and crabapple.

February is a great month to do any pruning that needs be done. Wounds heal quickly, and it is easy to see undesirable branches without foliage in the way. Prune crossing branches or damaged wood, and cut out water sprouts. Finally, remove suckers from the trunk.

Apply dormant oils and fungicides to fruit trees now. Dormant sprays are important because some pests attack before visible growth begins. Dormant oils control scale insects, aphids and mite eggs. Apply dormant oil before buds open on the tree, when temperatures are above freezing and expected to stay above freezing for the next 24 hours. Fungicides applied during the dormant period control diseases such as peach leaf curl.

Don’t forget to see us at the Manhattan Area Garden Show, February 16th and 17th. Use this link for details http://www.riley.ksu.edu/doc3052.ashx

Avery's Additions

It might be February but it sure looks like spring in the Garden Store! New merchandise is arriving daily including (are you ready?), terrariums, gnomes, new and innovative tools, colorful gloves, glazed pots, wind chimes, new houseplants, garden flags, fairy gardening and miniature gardening supplies, rain gauges, wire garden art, seed starting supplies, jiffy pots, benches, fountains, unique home and garden décor, bird feeders, and more to come.

Seed racks will be here soon and we already have cole crop seed in stock.

Don’t forget the Manhattan Area Garden (Pottorf Hall in Cico Park) is February 16th and 17th and Home Show (Manhattan National Guard Armory) is February 23rd and 24th.

The store is changing daily with new display units and a little re-arranging, but don’t worry, we will still help you find everything you need!

 
 

Blueville
Nursery Inc.

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4539 Anderson Avenue
Manhattan, KS 66503-9799
Garden Store: (785) 539-2217
Landscaping Office: (785) 539-2671
info@bluevillenursery.com

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