To test last years garden seeds for viability, wrap 10 – 20 seeds in a damp paper towel and place it in a plastic bag for 10 days. If less than half the seeds germinate, buy fresh seeds for this coming garden season.
For your indoor plants, now would be a good time to divide and re-pot any root-bound house plants, and clean dusty leaves with a moist paper towel. Check under the leaves for spider mites or powdery mildew.
Before sowing seeds indoors, thoroughly wet the potting soil mix with warm water first. Watering dry soil mix after sowing the seeds may disturb the way you placed the seeds.
Save crushed aluminum cans to use instead of heavy drainage stones in large planters and pots. They work well, and allow for quick drainage of water without adding extra weight to the soil.
Outdoors: Apply additional mulch to herb and flower beds and be sure to cover any bare roots.
In herb and flower beds, remove the old stalks before the end of February, so that the perennial plants have room for the new growth to emerge.
When sowing spring onions, and other cool season vegetables, keep the soil evenly moist, so the vegetables will grow quickly and be mild tasting.
Pinch off the top leaves of basil to create bushier plants and prevent flowering.
Wood ashes are a good source of potassium and will help to neutralize acidic soil. Till them into the garden area six weeks before planting the garden.
To prevent the spread of pests and diseases in the spring, wipe stakes, trellises, and cages down with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and ten drops of tea tree oil added to 2 cups of water. This will kill bacteria and over-wintering insect eggs.