Northern & Central Midwest

February, 2011
Regional Report

Sow in the Snow

Toward the end of the month, sow seeds of larkspur, sweet peas, Shirley poppies and snapdragons on the snow where you want them to grow. These cool-season plants must sprout and get a good start on growth before the season turns warm. Place a label nearby so you will remember where you planted them.

Clean Clay Pots

Clean up those clay pots to ready them for the growing season. Soak them overnight in a solution of a gallon of water, one cup of white vinegar and one cup bleach. Scrub vigorously with a steel wool pad and rinse several times in clean water.

Repot Amaryllis for the Patio

Have a windowsill full of amaryllis bulbs that are finished blooming? Repot several bulbs together in a large pot. Gradually dry them down for the next couple of months and then bring them back into bloom for a wonderful tropical look for the patio in early summer.

Start Early Greens

Start lettuce, Asian greens, and spinach in pots under lights. Keep the lights about two to four inches from the emerging plants. As soon as the weather begins to break, you can set the pots out in a cold frame and harvest greens for salads and stir fries all spring.

Plan Your Coldframe

Build a cold frame to have ready for spring greens. Collect cinder blocks, recycled wood, storm windows, and whatever else could make a good frame. There are plenty of websites that have plans for a more elaborate frame. You can set your frame right out on the snow to thaw the ground.

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