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Even though the thermometer encourages you to stay indoors, February is a great month to get outside and get your hands dirty. You can start plants in nearly every category this month as seeds or small transplants, and you can work and improve the soil in preparation for spring planting. So brave the chill and promise yourself a cup of hot tea at the end of the afternoon — your garden awaits, and it will thank you and pay you back in spades in a couple of months.

Plant Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Turk's cap (Malvaviscus drummondii), blackfoot daisy (Melampodium leucanthum), zexmenia (Wedelia Texana), poppies (Papaver somniferum), snapdragons (Antirrhinum spp), stock (Matthiola spp), alyssum (Lobularia maritima), delphiniums (Delphinium spp), dusty miller (Senecio cineraria) and English daisies (Bellis perennis).

Prune roses. Valentine's Day is the traditional time to prune your roses, so get out your hand pruners and rose gloves. Remove dead canes (branches) and any branch that crosses over another or grows to the center of the plant, and then prune for shape.

Pruning your roses this month will ensure that your plant will have more lush growth, an attractive shape, and a profusion of blooms during the coming months.

Get your hands dirty and show your garden love.

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