The Vegetable Growing Year: Jobs to do in February

Spring is just around the corner but yet February can still be one of the coldest months of the year. If the weather permits you can start some early sowing or even plant outside. However, if the conditions aren’t right, delay your sowing until the weather warms up a little.

Lime and Manure beds
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to check the pH level of the brassica bed, and add lime to bring it up to 6.5 if the bed needs it. Potatoes are hungry plants, so your potato beds will benefit from some well rotted manure.

Warming the soil
If you want to do some early sowing, you can try warming the soil by covering it in black plastic. This will absorb the sunlight, warming and drying the soil out at the same time.
Another thing you can try is building a hotbed. A hotbed is a trench or raised bed filled with organic matter with soil on top. As the organic matter rots down, the heat from the decomposing material will warm the soil above.

Protect early blossom
If your fruit trees have started to blossom, protect them from even the most minor of frosts as damaged flowers will not set fruit. Simply cover with fleece and remove it on warm days to allow insects to pollinate the flowers. If there are hardly any insects around, use a small soft paint brush to move the pollen between the flowers.

Early sowings
Weather permitting you can start a number of early sowings in the greenhouse or outside under cloches.

  • Summer cabbage and cauliflower can be started under glass.
  • If you want to grow your onions from seeds, you can start sowing them indoors from the middle of the month. Same goes for leeks.
  • Broad beans and early peas can be started giving you an early harvest around May time. Start them in 3 inch pots or you can use some cardboard from inside toilet rolls which will rot down when planted out.

What you can be eating now

  • As long as the ground isn’t frozen, you can still be pulling leeks, parsnips and swedes from the ground.
  • Cabbage, kale and brussels sprouts should still be giving you a harvest.

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