Know Your Gardening Seasons

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Gardening seasons in Southeast Louisiana are not neatly defined on the calendar as in other parts of the country. Our four seasons are known as first-warm, hot, second-warm, and cool, overlapped by transitional periods. Be mindful that the transitional months between the seasons can have varying higher and lower than average temperatures. Examples of this would be a late freeze in March or an early freeze in November to sometimes record high temperatures in May, September or October. February would appropriately be considered one of the cool season months.

Here are some things to consider in the cool-season month of February. Cool-season bedding plants and bulbs planted a season prior are in their glory. Continue dead-heading as needed. Weeds are ever present no matter the season and hand-pulling is the easiest or apply several inches of pine straw mulch. Until temperatures consistently remain above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, usually after April 15th, summer season lawns are not yet ready for fertilizer or pre-emergent weed treatments. Finalize any planting of new trees and shrubs this month. Give roots time to fully recover well before the hot season is in full force.

By mid-month, rose pruning of hybrid teas, grandifloras, and floribundas (knock-out roses included) should be completed. February is an excellent time to divide and transplant ornamental grasses and ground covers. And lastly, start tender vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers inside from seeds. Transplants of broccoli, cabbage and varieties of lettuce can be directly planted in the ground this month. Happy Growing!

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