February is normally a time to rev your motors and resume gardening on the Central Coast. That is, if you ever slowed down. We’ve had such strange weather this winter, that I’m not sure where to start. The soil is moist so weeds can be easily pulled. Hoe annuals, cutting them off at ground level. Scrap them off before they go to seed. Depriving their roots of the nourishment provided by the sun (photosynthesis), the little plants should not survive (but there are no absolutes in gardening). Pull up oxalis before it flowers. You’ll find the little bulbs beginning to form along the roots. These are the reasons that oxalis is so hard to get rid of.
In many areas of the county, you can sow seeds of flowers, yarrow, aster, calendula, coreopsis, cosmos, marigold, rudbeckia and poppies. Vegetables seeds such as beets, carrots, lettuce, and snowpeas can be planted now. In colder areas, start seeds indoors or in a coldframe.
Plant spring and summer bulbs such as calla lily, cannas, dahlia, bearded Dutch iris, and gladiolus. Plant bareroot roses, fruit trees, berries and grapes early this month.
Finish pruning dormant trees and shrubs that bloom in summer and fall. Shape fuchsias, and cut back perennial grasses like Calamagrostris (Feather Reed Grass). Prune Mediterranean plants as they finish blooming. Dig up perennial weeds.
Lightly fertilize citrus trees. Wait to fertilize fruit trees until there is 4 to 6 inches of new shoot growth. Feed with a balanced fertilizer. Dig in well-composted manure around perennials and cover with mulch.
Wonder if the last frost is over in your area? Check out the publication at Frost Dates and Temperature Data for SLO County. The data was prepared for home gardeners by the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE). The summary provides average dates for the first and last frosts, chill hours, average growing season, lowest record temperatures, and growing degree days for grapes. Not all communities in SLO County are represented on the chart but you can consult it for similar coastal or inland areas. This information will be helpful for developing a planting schedule.