Monday, 2 February 2015

February Ramblings

Things are starting to feel and look a lot like spring here on the island... daffodils are up, tulips are poking through, the sun has been shining and the weather has been delightful.

But please do not get fooled by Mother Nature! She is tricky, she is mean, she wants you to start seeding and sowing and planting away, with visions of summer dancing in your head... and then she is going to blast you with a huge dump of snow, or ice, or a week of freezing cold temps! Something to thwart all those visions and thoughts.

Snow fall in February last year and the year before! 

Please remember that February is often the month of snow while March and April, and even May, tend to be wet, cool, and grey.
 Artichokes coming up in the garden.

So then, if you are not seeding and planting and sowing and growing, what are you actually able to do in the month of February?

Indoors where it is nice and dry and warm...

- Planning, ordering and making notes and lists are a great way to prepare yourself for the upcoming growing season. 

- Take some great gardening courses and workshops!
See HERE! for this years workshops at the Nitty Gritty Greenhouse.

- Browse through pictures, start a new Pinterest board of ideas for your potager, jot down notes and pictures in your journal, read through last years notes and see what worked and what didn't, make changes.

In your low-tunnel covered beds or cold frames, you can be seeding or transplanting in the following plants ...

- Greens .. like mache, arugula, mustards, Chinese greens, etc...
- Spinach
- Lettuce
- Radishes

Seeds to start in the heated greenhouse... 
- Asparagus (Yes, they grow well from seed, however, will be 5 years till you harvest!)
- Artichokes (hurry!)
- Brassicas that you can plant outside in 6 to 8 weeks time (broccoli, cauliflower, collards, etc...)
- Herbs of all kinds, especially chives, parsley, oregano, and thyme.
- Hot peppers, sweet peppers and eggplants. 
- Flowers from seed .... petunias, geraniums, verbena, pansies and violas, lobelia, snapdragons, sweet peas...
- If you did not start your leeks and onions from seed last month, hurry and do it now! (or pick up some seedlings from me in March or April ; )

If you are interested in starting seedlings from seed now, read the back of your seed packages. You can sow anything that says to start 12 or more weeks before the last frost date. Do NOT plant anything yet that requires less time than that. 12 weeks for anything planted now, and 8 weeks if planted towards the end of the month. 

Other garden related chores... 
- Check your over wintering bulbs (glads, dahlias, begonias...) If you see any that are mouldy, soft or mushy, remove them before they spread the rot to the other bulbs. If you see any that are starting to sprout, it is time to pop them into pots or planters. Transfer them to the garden when all risk of frost is over.
- Prune your fruit trees before the end of the month. 
-Spray your trees with a lime sulpher/dormant oil mix to kill any over-wintering pests and diseases. This also applies to any rose bushes to prevent black spot and other pest and fungal issues, as well as most all hardwood hedging like cotoneasters.
- Weed your pathways, run a hoe through the wee weeds before they end up huge and out of control with roots down to heck and back!

At the Nitty Gritty.... 

 The last of the carrots from the winter bed, Parisian Market Carrots. 

Once again, I have pretty much run out of carrots for my girls (the dogs).
They are having a really hard time understanding that the carrots no longer come from the garden beds but instead come out of a bag in the fridge!


 Purple Sprouting Broccoli in my winter garden

The purple sprouting broccoli is beginning to sprout ; ) Is a crop that is planted in summertime (July) for harvest the following spring.

Bonus! Peter Rabbit, the bunny that lives out back, has not yet found these guys, though he has demolished the kale and lettuce, and is currently working on the celery. 

  Hyacinths - Highly scented and so pretty. 

Ruby Tuesday enjoys the last carrot that she found buried deep in the garden bed.

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