Garden Maintenance for January and February

One of the fantastic resources in nearly every state is the Cooperative Extension office at your local state university.  Here in North Carolina, NC State and North Carolina A&T University team up to provide a wide variety of excellent resources related to agriculture, gardening, and wildlife.

The following list of to-do items for January and February is an example of one of these resources, which is of even greater value since it is specific to the climate and unique growing conditions here in NC.  Check out your state’s Cooperative Extension office to find similar insights for your locale.

maintenance tips for your gardenFlowers

  • -Cut back ornamental grasses; divide large clumps and replant.
  • -Plant bare root roses.
  • -Cut back flowering vines.

Fruits and Vegetables

  • -Perform a soil test by your county extension office.
  • -Plant fruit trees while the soil temperature is still cool for strong root structure.
  • -Prepare your vegetable garden: loosen soil; add organic matter; browse seed catalogs;
  • -Begin starting vegetables from seeds indoors to get a jump on the spring season.
  • -Plant cold hearty vegetables like sugar snap peas and onion sets.


  • -Watch for cool season weeds like chickweed, hairy bittercress, and henbit.  Remove or treat with post-emergent weed control when temperature is above 40 degrees.
  • -Fertilize fescue lawns in February at a rate of one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.
  • -Sharpen lawn mower blades, repair or replace broken tools and power equipment before spring.

Trees and Shrubs

  • -Water evergreens during dry weather.
  • -Clean up camellia blooms.
  • -Prune woody ornamentals like hydrangea and butterfly bush that bloom in the summer.
  • -Survey trees and shrubs for breakage from winter storms.  Prune any damaged areas.
  • -Add mulch around trees and shrubs – leave 3-6 inches clear around trunks.

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Derek Smith

Derek is the co-founder of HomeSpot HQ, and uses it to manage the seemingly never-ending list of projects and maintenance tasks around his suburban home.