In the Vegetable Garden - Things to do this Month - February

wheelbarrow-vegi-plot

You’d think all would be quiet on the veggie plot at this time of year … far from it! Despite the cold weather, My favourite way of keeping warm and making a big difference to my veg plot is to dig in all the rotted horse-muck and compost we’ve created during the past year: the large volume of organic matter improves soil texture for both light and heavy soils, it adds valuable organic nutrients, feeds the worms … and it’s great exercise! Pile it up high, as by the time you’re ready for planting it will have rotted down a lot.

  • Create a planting plan for the year, remembering the first principle of crop rotation: don’t plant the same crop ‘family’ in the same place as last year!
  • My favourite way of keeping warm and making a big difference to my veg plot is to dig in all the rotted horse-muck and compost we’ve created during the past year: the large volume of organic matter improves soil texture for both light and heavy soils, it adds valuable organic nutrients, feeds the worms … and it’s great exercise! Pile it up high, as by the time you’re ready for planting it will have rotted down a lot.
  • February can bring more frosts and ice, but in a normal year you can start planting a few crops: refer to our Vegetable Planting Diary to see what to sow or plant this month.
  • If you haven’t already ordered seeds, now is the time to do so – we like to use some of the old, traditional varieties from www.gardenorganic.org.uk
  • Warm up soil with cloches or black plastic to advance the growing season.
  • Carry out a soil pH test; you should do this regularly throughout the year, in different parts of the plot – you can buy relatively cheap test kits in any garden store. This will tell you how acid or alkaline your soil is, and then you can add lime (to reduce excess acidity – the brassica family in particular is intolerant of acid soils) or manure (to counteract alkalinity).
  • Clean, disinfect and tidy the greenhouse if you haven’t done so already, you’ll have less trouble with ‘damping off’ of seedlings in a clean environment.
  • If you do nothing else this month, plant more garlic – friends are always impressed when you present them with a garlicky gift!
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