For the same reasons that the dormant season is a good time to prune many deciduous trees and shrubs, this is a great time for transplanting! During the cold winter months, while the plants are “asleep”, they are at the lowest risk of transplant shock or damage. Be sure to dig a large root ball, preserving as much of the main root mass as possible, and don’t forget to wrap the ball in plastic or burlap when transporting so it stays intact. In the spring when the soil thaws and buds break, your tree/shrub will be in its new home and can start pushing out new roots. Be sure to water it well to aid in new root production and growth!
Take advantage of the last few weeks of “downtime” in the garden and give your tools a tuneup. Pull out your lawnmower, string trimmer, leaf blower, and other “power tools” – top off fluids, get them running and be sure that no little critters have built nests in the bag or motor. Sharpen your pruners and other hand tools so you’ll be ready as soon as spring starts!
Your ornamental grasses served their purpose this winter – giving your snowy landscape height, structure, and color while providing food and nesting materials for birds and small mammals. Now, it’s time to cut them back so the new spring shoots can grow freely. The easiest way to cut back your large ornamental grasses is to tie them up with twine or a bungee cord and use a large knife or hedge trimmer to cut back the dead foliage. Smaller grasses can be cut using scissors or garden snips.
Hopefully, by the end of the month, the threat of snow is over and we can start bringing in cold-hardy pansies! Pansies come in a wide range of colors and can handle brief frosts and periods of snow cover. Fill a container near your doorstep or add a few plants to the front of your beds to get you in the spring mindset!
Start seeds of cool-season veggies like Cabbage, Kale, Lettuce, Cauliflower, and Broccoli indoors. You can also start Peppers, Eggplants, and Tomatoes from seed towards the end of the month