Avoid the temptation to start seeds too early. Check seed packets for detailed information on starting various types of flowers. Some slow growing flowers like begonia, geraniums, and impatiens should be started 12–14 weeks before the last expected frost. Most other annuals are started about 6–8 weeks before the last frost date. Do not depend on window sill light to grow these seedlings. Annual flower plants are best started and grown indoors under cool, white fluorescent lights. The tubes should be lit for 14–16 hours per day and kept only 1–2 inches from the top of the young seedlings. Don’t over-water, and keep the temperature at 70–75 degrees F. during the day and 65 degrees F. at night.
Fresh tarragon, rosemary, and mint sprigs can be purchased in food markets and rooted indoors in a “soilless” potting mix to be grown under cool white fluorescent bulbs.
Continue to feed birds throughout this month.
Gently sweep snow/ice off shrubs.
Enjoy hardy spring bulbs that begin to emerge (crocus, snowdrops). If you did not get your spring bulbs planted, do so as soon as the ground thaws. Select only the best quality. Many of the bulbs will have deteriorated over winter storage. They may still bloom this year but much later than normal.
Clean up and compost dead hosta leaves and other plant parts, but leave the flower heads of perennials, like tickseed, purple coneflower and black-eyed Susans to provide nutritious seeds for birds this winter. Perennials and ornamental grasses can also provide needed cover for over-wintering birds.