February 2007
Home Grown Tomatoes



Happy Groundhog Day!

February brings some of those spring teasers (unseasonably warm weather) that make us want to leap into spring with both feet. I know you’re as anxious I am, dreaming about sunny eighty-five degree days. Generally when we get one of those days in February it is followed by tornadoes, high winds, rain, more winds; then cold temperatures that remind us that it’s still wintertime!

We’re on the downside of winter. My favorite holiday is Groundhog Day and generally that marks the halfway point of winter. Groundhog Day usually falls between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox.

There are still a lot of wintertime chores to do. If you haven’t serviced your lawn mowing equipment, right now is the time! Don’t wait till spring to have your mowers serviced. If you take your mower to the service center now, you won’t have the long wait that you’ll have in mid-March. If you do have to wait a couple of weeks to get your mower back, it’s ok right now. You’re not using it anyway.

While you’re at it, take your string trimmer, blower and other gas-powered tools in for annual servicing.

While the power tools are being serviced, you should take stock of the condition of your hand-powered gardening tools. Spades, shovels, mattocks, picks, cultivators and rakes should be checked for loose handles, oxidation and general wear. They should be repaired and lubricated with oil on the metal parts.

It is also time to walk around your garden and see what’s coming back from last year. You know, the plants that went into dormancy or the ones that you thought died during the drought. You might be surprised at what survived!

Move around! It’s not too late to move those plants that were planted in the wrong place. I don’t mean just the small perennials, but the trees and shrubs too. Don’t wait till spring to move the plants. Get them into place before they start producing leaves and blooms because that stage of growth requires more water.

Another pleasantry of this time of year is planning your garden by dreaming your way through seed catalogs. You’d better get those last minute seed orders in!

Get ready for spring. It’ll be here next month.

Home Grown Tomatoes Radio show is a great way to learn what you should be doing in your garden each week and gives you the chance to ask experts about all things green! If your local radio station isn’t carrying Home Grown Tomatoes yet, call them and request it!

Kenn Alan presents the radio show "Home Grown Tomatoes," and offers gardening tips at HGTradio.net, where Home Grown Tomatoes can now be heard live on the Internet by following instructions on the home page!