UCCE Master Gardeners of San Bernardino County
University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of San Bernardino County

Give Your Garden Some Love! February Gardening Tips


Febraury gardening tips from the UC Master Gardener Program! February is the perfect time to plant bare root roses for stunning blooms in the spring and summer. Credit: "Roses" by James Jardine is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than to show your garden a little love? February means it is time to start planning and preparing your spring and summer garden. These gardening tips will help you get your garden ready for the spring growing season  

  1. Prune your roses. If you haven't already, cut back a third to half of their total height. Additionally, remove dead parts including old leaves on the bush and ground to improve overall plant health. Watch this video for more detail on how to prune roses. 

  2. Fertilize your citrus trees. Most mature citrus require regular fertilization with nitrogen. Typically, most other nutrients are available in sufficient amounts in the soil. Nitrogen should be applied in January or February just prior to bloom. The second application can be applied in May and perhaps a third in June. Information about fertilizing citrus can be found on the UC Integrated Pest Management website.  

 Suggested application rates of nitrogen 

   Year one (1)                           1 tablespoon nitrogen fertilizer 3 times per year, per tree.
   Year two (2)     0.25 lb. actual nitrogen per tree 
   Year three (3)      0.50 lb. actual nitrogen per tree 
   Year four (4)     0.75 lb. actual nitrogen per tree 
   Year five (5+)     1 lb. actual nitrogen each year 
  1. Plant these trees, shrubs, and perennials.

    •  Bare root deciduous shrubs and trees 
    •  Roses, grapes, blackberries, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, asparagus, chives, onions, green onions.  

  1. Plant cool-season crops like ... lettuce, spinach, and broccoli. These vegetables thrive in cooler temperatures and can be planted directly in the ground or started indoors for transplanting later.  

  2. Start seeds indoors. Get a head start on your vegetable garden and consider starting seeds indoors in February. This will give your plants a jump start on the growing season and allow you to get a head start on your harvest. Here are a few seeds you can start now: 

    •  Garlic
    •  Shallots
    •  Peas
    •  Peppers
    •  Sweet peas 
    •  Tomatoes 

  1. Protect your garden from snails and slugs. As the month progresses, you may start to see more snails in your garden. Make sure to remove them by hand-picking, baiting, or putting up barriers to keep snails and slugs out of your garden. Learn about snails and slug management from UC IPM.  

February is a great time for gardeners in California to plan, prepare, and get an early start growing their gardens for the upcoming season. From planting cool-season vegetables to starting seeds indoors, to protecting your garden from pests, there are many ways to get a head start on your garden. So make the most of this month and show your love for your garden and your special someone on Valentine's Day.  

Ask your local UC Master Gardener Program 

Have a gardening question? UC Master Gardener volunteers are available to help. Click here to Find a Program and connect with your local UC Master Gardener Program. You will be redirected to your local county website and contact information. UC Master Gardener volunteers are available to help answer questions for FREE. Happy gardening!  

Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2023 at 2:38 PM
Focus Area Tags: Yard & Garden


Should all/most perennials be cut back (I was told to two inches high).  
Thanks for terrific information!

Posted by Susan McGovern on February 9, 2023 at 8:12 PM

We cut back some perennials but not all (some only need light pruning). Cutting back can be an important practice for perennials that are prone to mildew, have experienced a hard frost, to rejuvenate the plant, or to maintain a clumping habit. UC Master Gardener volunteers can help advise on what to prune back, find your local program here: mg.ucanr.edu/FindUs

Reply by Melissa G. Womack on February 10, 2023 at 9:56 AM

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