Are You Getting Ready For The Annual Coronado Flower Show? - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado City News

Are You Getting Ready For The Annual Coronado Flower Show?

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Posted: Monday, February 10, 2020 11:28 am | Updated: 11:58 am, Mon Feb 10, 2020.

Hortus Coronado - February 2020

Monthly garden reports brought to you by Coronado Floral Association:

Garden Prep:

February is a maintenance/preparation month. There is pruning and fertilizing to be done! A lot of what you do this month will reap benefits when the warmer months arrive. 

After we have a good rain, weeding is easy when the ground is soft. Stay ahead of those weeds. 

This month you will see gardeners de-thatching lawns all over town in preparation for warm-season grass. (FYI – Early fall is de-thatching time for cool-season lawns). Thatch is the layer of matting between the soil below and the blades of grass above. A layer of thatch up to one half inch is okay, but thicker than that is not healthy for a lawn. To keep thatch down to a minimum, don’t mow more than one half of the length of the grass height at one time, and allow the clippings to lay where they fall. The clippings will decompose and will provide a good source of nitrogen to feed your lawn.


This month is considered the last optimal month if you want to plant native and drought tolerant plants in your garden. They like a few cold months to get settled in preparation for the hot summer months. Fall is really the best time, so if you can wait until then, all the better.

If you are starting your own seeds to transplant, use a specialized seed-starting soil. You can buy this at most nurseries. The advantages are that the mixture is light and crumbly (friable), more sterile than typical soil and not so harsh so the success rate of seedlings is improved considerably. As a general rule, the soil that covers the seeds should be only three times their thickness. Small seeds, like carrot or lettuce seeds, need only an 1/8 inch covering of soil at most.

Seeds to sow outside - ageratums, alyssum, bachelor’s buttons, calendulas, candytuft, celosia, columbines, coreopsis, English daisies, delphiniums, dianthus, forget-me-nots, four-o-clocks, hollyhocks, larkspur, lunaria, pansies, California and Shirley poppies, salvias, snapdragons, stocks, sweet peas, sweet William, and native wildflowers (there’s still time to spread poppy seeds!).

It is time to start thinking about summer bulbs now in stock at area nurseries. Look for Cannas, crocosmia, dahlia, gladiolus, lilies, and tuberous begonias. Plant a few bulbs every week from now until the end of March to have a continuous bloom from June through the summer.


If we get more rainfall make sure your irrigation is turned off but do keep an eye on your garden in case of a hot or dry spell. This is a great time to do irrigation maintenance and repair.


Many cymbidium orchids have bloomed already but others are getting ready to bloom and some are still just starting to send bud stocks. Continue to feed the plants for bloom (low nitrogen fertilizer) until the buds open.

When annuals such as pansies start to get spindly, pinch back the weakened growth and promptly remove faded flowers. Then feed with a liquid foliage fertilizer. This will make the plants become full and lush again.

Azaleas are sending out the first buds of the year from the branch tips so it’s time to feed with a high phosphorus fertilizer from now until they are finished blooming.

This is the month to fertilize your citrus trees. Consult with a reputable nursery about specialty fertilizer made especially for citrus. The following holidays serve as a guide for optimal fertilizing times: Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day. Established citrus trees need nitrogen most and it is responsible for assuring a good fruit crop and a healthy tree. Water the tree the day before, spread the fertilizer over the root zone and water in well. The feeder roots of citrus trees are very close to the surface, so it’s important not to over fertilize, or you could burn your tree.

Blueberries follow a similar schedule of citrus: February, May and August. Use a slow-release 12-4-8 fertilizer with a micronutrient blend formulated for azaleas and camellias. Use one-quarter pound for each year of age, and make sure you keep it away from the trunk of the bush.

Pest & Disease Control

Keep the yard raked to clear leaf litter and other decaying debris to keep the snails, slugs and other pests from hiding out in your garden.

Bait for snails and slugs that are wandering around your yard looking for tender new growth. If you don’t like to use bait, go out in the early evening or morning to hunt and collect.


Plumerias have dropped all their leaves with the cold weather so take cuttings of your plants, before new leaves start to development. Let the cuttings dry up at the cut end and wait for two months before planting.

Cut your cannas and gingers down to the ground as soon as there is no more chance of frost.

Time to give your fuchsias and begonias a hard pruning. Fuchsias bloom only on new wood and need to be cut back annually to produce new growth. Cut back hanging basket plants to container’s edge or 4 inches above the soil. Cut back shrub fuchsias by half or more. Prune begonias to keep them from getting leggy. Cut cane and angel-wing begonias to pot level or three or four nodes from the ground. Prune wax begonias 1-2 inches from the ground.

Buddlejas, more commonly known as Butterfly Bushes, should be hard-pruned back now. These plants can handle the heavy pruning that most plants cannot. You can cut back 75 percent of the plant now and keep pinching the new growth to promote bushing over the next few months.

If plants such as agapanthus, coral bells, daylilies, Japanese anemone, Shasta daisies become crowded or had sparse bloom last season, it’s time to divide them. Dig up clumps, pull or cut them apart and replant the sections, or share them with your friends. This is easier to do after a good rain or water the day before.

If you planted early sweet peas you are probably enjoying them in bloom now. Dead head your cool season flowers for a longer blooming period.

Coronado’s team effort, Home Front Judging, is on the horizon, on April 5, 6 and 7, 2020. We’ve got a couple of months to work the magic in our yards, beautifying Coronado one house at a time. Yay team!

Happy gardening!

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