During February in the garden, I’ve been keeping myself busy tidying up and doing some early seed sowing in the greenhouse. Hopefully, in a few weeks we’ll be able to pick some pea shoots like these for salads.
General jobs done during February in the garden
As soon as the weather warmed up towards the end of the month, I pruned the fruit trees. It is better to do them before they start to shoot in spring. My husband helped with the big Bramley apple tree as he still gets a kick from climbing right up a tree. I end up hanging on for dear life! I use the apple twigs we trim to repair the fences around the vegetable beds.
We have a massive pine tree in the garden and throughout the year it keeps us busy dropping needles and cones. During February the needles drop like spiky confetti and we collect many bags. Pine needles can be used to mulch acid loving plants. We store all the pine cones which we use for fire lighters and craft projects.
Seeds planted during February in the garden
This weekend I spent some time in the greenhouse and planted some of the more hardy seeds. I have planted rainbow chard, perpetual or beet spinach, winter salad leaves and some peas.
On a drizzly day spending time in the greenhouse means you can still do some gardening. I re-use seed trays and pots from my store and last year I saved lolly sticks to use as plant labels.
I usually sow Bright Lights rainbow chard from Thompson and Morgan but this year I bought some seeds from a company that sadly has closed this year. The stems look pretty and if I am running out of space in the vegetable plot, I plant some in the borders or in pots on the patio.
I have used traditional spinach beet from Thompson and Morgan for a few years now. The packet I used is from last year so I hope that they germinate.
Rainbow chard and the spinach beet (perpetual spinach) are great for our vegetable plot. It is slightly shaded at one end and can get dry as it is close to one of the apple trees. Both of these varieties don’t tend to bolt as fast as traditional leaf spinach.
Once they get going, I pick small leaves for salads and collect and freeze the larger leaves. I rinse them, dry on a tea towel then put into a freezer bag whole. When they are frozen I crunch the leaves down and just keep adding more to the bag. In autumn and winter I add handfuls to curries and casseroles.
Now there is sign of early plum tree blossom, my thoughts are turning to spring and the warmer days when salad for lunch is great. I have planted some winter salad leaves that contain a mix of Japanese leaves. These are hardier than more traditional varieties that do better later in the year. They are peppery and if they grow too big, I use up the leaves in stir fries.
I also planted peas in a box to use for shoots and hope to get three trimmings from a single sowing.
The greenhouse is unheated so if a hard frost is forecast, I wrap fleece round the pots overnight to prevent damage.
Harvesting during February in the garden
This is it.. the last of our harvest from last year’s planting! A small bunch of curly kale which went down well with roasted roots last night.
What do you like doing or planting this early on in your garden?