Gardening in February; Beat the Springtime rush

Gardening in February; Beat the Springtime rush

February is the month of love and oh do we have a lot to love in our gardens this month! Although February tends to be one of the coldest months of the year, the days are getting longer and with increasing light levels everything starts to wake up again, albeit slowly. 

We have a golden opportunity to get out, breathe in the fresh air, and make a start. We can work at a slower tempo than during the hectic spring, and we can take time to just be in our gardens. Take deep breaths, walk around, look for wildlife and signs of spring and take time to appreciate and love our gardens, and ourselves. 

Here are some suggestions of what you can do this month in your growing space!

If you haven’t already….

  • Start planning what you want to grow in your garden and S-Series Mini Greenhouse this year. Think about what you want to achieve, how much space and time you have, and what needs to be sown when. Make a plan for successional sowings so that you have a continuous supply of salad leaves, spring onions and herbs – and try to extend the season as much as possible for other crops. Your Harvst S-Series is a fantastic tool for this! Also decide on a crop rotation plan for your growing space if you haven’t got one already. 
  • Go through your seed collection and order what is missing. Ask around if anyone is interested in swapping seeds or sharing large packets. It is a fantastic way of making friends that share a common interest. Did you know we have a Harvst Community Facebook Group? You can join here.
  • Order your seed potatoes as soon as possible to ensure you have the biggest choice of variety and have enough time to chit them.

What to do now….

Most things aren’t urgent at this time of the year but it gives us an opportunity to get out and beat the Springtime rush! Spring is always a very busy time in the garden and every job we do now sets us up for a fabulous growing season. 

  • Chit potatoes by placing them in a tray or egg carton with the eyes upwards. Place them in a bright and cool place to encourage short stocky growth which will give you an earlier and better harvest. Your Harvst Sprout may be a good place for them as long as you ensure it is always frost free! 
  • Clean your greenhouse, cold frames, tools and pots with warm soapy water to remove dirt. This will let more of the much needed light in, plus, it can remove any overwintering diseases that you do not want in your garden. 
  • Keep an eye on the weather and protect early outdoor sowings with a horticultural fleece when needed. Even sowings undercover can do with an extra blanket if a cold spell hits! Your Harvst should keep your seedlings and plants warm and cosy but always keep an eye on the temperatures. Some plants are very sensitive to temperature drops, especially with young seedlings. 
  • Make a plan for how you will feed your soil and plants throughout the growing season. What mulches and fertilisers can you get hold of? Ask friends, family, neighbours, stables and farmers for grass clippings, manure, hay and straw. These are all very good materials to add to your garden! What compost and fertiliser tea can you make? Do you know someone that has a lot of nettles or comfrey? Try to make use of what is available in your surrounding area before buying. 
  • Mulch your garden beds with compost to feed the soil for the coming growing season. It also stops weeds from growing and helps keep moisture in.
  • Add well rotted manure to your growing areas. 
  • Check perennial herbs and other plants growing in pots, such as garlic, and give them some water if needed. 
  • Grow your own forced rhubarb by covering an established plant (that wasn’t forced last year) with a forcing pot or large bucket. The excluding of the light forces the plant to grow tall, pale sticks that are delicious and mild flavoured. What could be nicer than a home-grown rhubarb crumble?
  • Clear away brassicas as you finish harvesting and add the plant material to your compost heap. 
  • Prune gooseberries and red and white currants to develop an open framework. Shorten last year’s growth to form short, fruiting spurs and remove any crossing and congested growth. Try to get it done this month! 
  • Pot up last year’s strawberry runners and bring some strawberry plants under cover for an earlier harvest. It is important that they have been outside previously as strawberries need a period of cold weather to produce fruit. 
  • Prune autumn fruiting raspberries to ground level and weed around the plants this month. Mulch too if you have any mulching material left over. It will help to feed the plants, suppress new weeds, and keep moisture in. 

What should I be sowing this month?

We are fast heading into the busy sowing season and with your Harvst S-Series there is even more you can sow now! Some plants need an awfully long time to crop and must therefore be started very early. These include chilli, bell peppers, aubergines and celery. They can all be sown indoors or in your Harvst, but it’s important to keep the temperatures nice and warm for them. Tomatoes, especially windowsill varieties can also be sown now. 

There are many plants that can be sown in your Harvst that need protection at this time of the year (but not as much heat to germinate and grow) such as pea shoots, broad bean shoots, lettuce, asian greens such as mizuna, tatsoi, pak choi, and brassicas such as kale, broccoli, early cabbage, kohlrabi and turnips, various herbs such as chive, parsley, coriander and mint, as well as radishes, spring onions, spinach, beetroot, early peas and onions (from seed).

Broad beans, spinach and carrots can be sown outdoors under cloches. 

What should I plant this month?

Bare root soft fruit bushes, cane fruit and fruit trees should be planted now if not already done. Spring garlic can also be planted now and sooner rather than later is preferred as they need a period of cold to split into individual cloves. Rhubarb and Jerusalem artichokes are also good to plant in February.

What should I harvest this month?

Growing food all year round is an amazing feeling, and at this time of the year brassicas like brussel sprouts, winter cauliflower, kale and cabbage, leeks, celeriac, swede, Swiss chard, Jerusalem artichokes, spinach and parsnips can be harvested outside. Your Harvst is a fantastic growing space all year round and can provide you with fresh food 365 days a year! What’s not to love?

We hope that you will feel inspired to go out and enjoy your garden to the full this February. If you want to learn more about our products, share tips, or just want to join our community – sign up to our forum!

Happy Growing!