Monthly Archives: February 2016

winter birds and feeder

February Gardening Tips

Hello Fellow Gardeners,

Hope you survived the blizzard and are enjoying the warm weather we have while it lasts!   Below are some gardening tips, educational opportunities, and events for February. Don’t miss our meeting on Tuesday, February 23rd, 7:30 pm with a Master Gardener guest speakers, Merikay Smith and Lee Anne Gellety, who will give a presentation on Creating Children’s Gardens: Growing Gardeners!


  • Select and order fruit plants. Decide on new tree/shrub locations.
  • Design new beds and gardens.

  • Read the University of Delaware’s article on “Looking good and doing good”-
    • Looking for native plants that people will want in their gardens. (University of Delaware UDaily)


Flowers and Groundcovers:

  • Deadhead pansies.
  • Pull out ornamental cabbages and kale.
  • Lightly fertilize bulbs when green starts to show.
  • Transplant seedlings into individual 3″-4″ pots when crowded. Fertilize transplants with half strength houseplant fertilizer (every 2 weeks).
  • Start seeds for: Portulaca, Flowering Tobacco, Ageratum, China Aster, Cleome Dwarf Marigolds, Salvia, Tall Snapdragons, Verbena. Fertilize transplants.
  • A Quick Guide to Pruning Clematis (HG107) | University of Maryland Extension
    “Refrain from any hard pruning of vines like clematis until early spring.”Canbys Lobelia
  • There are many rare, threatened and endangered plants in Maryland.

Trees and Shrubs:

Herbs, Veggies, and Fruit:
  • Sow greens indoors or outdoors in cold frame. Apply dormant oil spray to fruit trees.
  • Start seeds for: Cabbage, chives, fennel, sage, thyme, rosemary
  • Begin successive plantings of peas using inoculant.
  • Growing edible plants indoors.
  • Diseases to watch for: Damping off of seedlings
  • Here are some more fruit and vegetable gardening tips for February from UMD’s HGIC.


  • Shovel walks and drive before applying ice melt or you will damage lawn.
  • Reseed bare spots or overseed (through early April).
  • Clean yard of all leaves and other debris.
  • See HGIC’s February Lawn Tips for more details.


  • Begin to pot up rooted cuttings. Fertilize with half strength houseplant fertilizer every other watering.
  • Pests to watch for: Spidermites, Mealybug, Scale
  • See HGIC’s February Houseplants Tips for more tips.

Indoor/Outdoor Insect and Wildlife Tips:

Source: University of Maryland’s Home and Garden Information Center (HGIC).


See below for upcoming local events in February. Don’t miss our meeting on Tuesday, February 23rd, starting at 7:30 pm with a Master Gardener guest speaker, Merikay Smith and Lee Anne Gellety who will give a presentation on Creating Children’s Gardens: Growing Gardeners!

Winter Festivals in Montgomery Parks

Winter is right around the corner…and we have lots of festivals and events to help you enjoy the season! Check out for a list of major events happening in late November through February.

Weekends in February
Times Vary | Brookside Nature Center
$6/person | Ages 3 & up | Saturday & Sundays in February
February is Maple Sugaring Month at Brookside Nature Center. Every Saturday and Sunday you’ll have an opportunity to experience an American tradition: maple sugaring! Watch the whole maple sugaring process from start to finish. See sap drip from trees and taste it. Watch us boil it down into sweet maple syrup, then sample a tasty treat. Join in the fun and activities and learn something new at this family-friendly program! Space is limited so pre-registration is encouraged.
Color Maryland Green Art and Poetry Contest - 2016
Color Maryland Green Art and Poetry Contest – 2016


Color Maryland Green Contest
COLOR MARYLAND GREEN is an art and poetry contest hosted by the Maryland Departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Environment (MDE) designed to inspire stewardship and outdoor learning.
Subject matter should demonstrate the student’s appreciation of our natural world, including but not limited to our air, water, land, fish and wildlife.

Deadline:  All entries must be postmarked by March 4, 2016.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources
c/o Color Maryland Green Contest
580 Taylor Avenue, D4
Annapolis, MD 21401

Winners will be announced on or before Earth Day, April 22.


A 2016 Maryland Park Passport will be awarded to the best overall entry by age group in each of the drawing/painting, digital illustration, photography and poetry categories. One overall video will be selected. Semi-finalists will also be acknowledged.
For details, please visit: cmg_about
Montgomery Parks Volunteer Opportunity of the Week: 2016 Great Backyard Bird Count at Brookside Nature Center, February 12-15, 2016, 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.


Brookside Nature Center
1400 Glenallan Ave.
Wheaton, MD 20902

  View map

Help us keep track of the birds that come to our feeders and promote the bird census records compiled at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) occurs February 12- 15, 2016. Observers are asked to come to Brookside Nature Center between 9 am and 5 pm and observe from our indoor viewing station or from our outdoor viewing ramp, the number and species of birds at our feeders for one or more hours. Your recorded results will be sent to the Cornell data base. This is a great Citizen Science project for bird lovers over the age of 12 or anyone who can accurately identify common bird species, and count over ten!

12 & 13 year olds can also volunteer, but must be accompanied by an adult.

CONTACT: Jennifer to set up a date and time at

Background check required: No

Minimum age of volunteers: 12

Job type: Event (1-7 days)

Volunteer type:  Adult, Family, Senior (55+), Youth, Student Service Learning, Group

2016 Spring Gardening Conference
February 20 @ 8:30 am2:30 pm

Agricultural History Farm Park,

18400 Muncaster Rd, Derwood, MD 20855
Derwood, 20855 United States

+ Google Map

Montgomery County Master Gardeners logo

Presented by the Montgomery County Master Gardeners EXPLODING THE MYTHS: Fascinating Facts to Help You Avoid Common Gardening Mythstakes! Saturday, February 20, 2016* University of Maryland Extension Montgomery County Office, 18410 Muncaster Rd., Derwood, MD $55 per person or $50 each for two or more, includes lunch Registration closes Febuary 16; no refunds after February 13 *Snow date – February 27, 2016 (In case of inclement weather, we follow Montgomery County Public Schools’ Weekend Activity Policy.) Schedule of Events Registration…

Find out more »

MCT Garden Club February Meeting Topic: Creating Children’s Gardens: Growing Gardeners

February 23 @ 7:30 pm9:00 pm

Mill Creek Towne Elementary

17700 Park Mill Dr
Derwood, 20855 United States

+ Google Map

Hi Fellow Gardeners and Neighbors!
The Mill Creek Towne Garden Club is having a Master Gardener presentation presented by Merikay Smith and Lee Anne Gellety in February on Creating Children’s Gardens: Growing Gardeners. Please come join us – all are welcome!  Below are the details.child_daffodil
  • Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 @ 7:30 pm
  • Topic: Creating Children’s Gardens: Growing Gardeners
  • Speaker: Merikay Smith and Lee Anne Gellety, Master Gardeners
  • Location: Mill Creek Towne Elementary Teacher’s Lounge
  • Hostesses: Nancy Brady, Heather Whirley
3rd Annual Waterfowl Festival
Saturday, February 13
Noon – 4 p.m. | Black Hill Nature Programs
FREE | All AgesBring the whole family for a day filled with activites, demonstrations, and exhibits to celebrate the wondrous water birds that call Little Seneca Lake home during the winter. Try your hand at carving a decoy. Make a bird bonnet to look like a hooded merganser or a bufflehead. Learn about wood duck nest box Citizen Science initiatives. Join guided excursions to catch a glimpse of marine ducks, swans and maybe even the Black Hill eagles! No registration required for this free event.
Learn More

Black History Month Events

Saturday, February 27 & Sunday, 28
Times Vary | Josiah Henson Park
Visit for updated schedules & information.Celebrate Black History Month by retracing the footsteps of Reverent Josiah Henson from his enslavement to escape on the Underground Railroad to freedom in Canada, watching the Time Team America PBS documentary about archaeology discoveries made at Josiah Henson Park, and participate in a spoken word poetry event. Learn more at
Learn More




How Does Your Garden Grow

Sunday, March 6
Noon – 4 p.m. | Black Hill Nature Programs
FREE | All AgesWeather you’re a novice or an expert, all are welcome for a day of garden talk and practice. Naturalists, garden pros, and Master Gardeners will all be on-hand to share their advice and expertise. We’ll have activities for the whole family. No registration needed.
More Info Coming Soon!


Philadelphia Flower Show Xcursion

Tuesday, March 8 & Thursday, March 10
7 a.m. – 7 p.m. | Trip leaves from Brookside Gardens
$90/person (includes coach transportation & entrance fee)
Register at
Join us for a trip to the Philadelphia International Flower Show. Be inspired as you explore acres of great gardens and learn from the world’s most celebrated growers and florists.