February 15, 2018 6:39 am Leave your thoughts
Something seems to happen to the soil and the air in the week round about Valentine’s Day. It’s still horribly dark, damp and dreary a lot of the time, of course, but there’s maybe just a sense that things are about to turn. It’s not quite spring yet – but something is stirring. And if you’re an allotment-holder or a keen gardener, it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to do when spring has finally sprung.
Time to think and plan
This website gives great advice on what to do in your allotment month by month, noting the likely differences in various parts of the UK. It doesn’t pull its punches about the horrors of February:
‘February, being the last of the winter months, often has a sting and ends up being the coldest month. Watch out for good weather in early February, in my experience it means the end of the month will be wicked.’
While there might not be a great deal of planting going on in February, it should actually be one of the busiest months for proper fruit and vegetable-growers. This is the month when you need to plan what you’re going to do, and start making some serious preparations. Here’s what the website above, and other keen growers, recommend for February.
Get your allotment or garden completely ready. Clean out your shed and repair your greenhouse. Rake up leaves and tidy the ground, checking the soil for any leftovers from last year’s crops, which might bring blight to this year’s crops. Wash all your pots and seed trays and make sure your tools are clean and in good working order. Buy any gardening gloves, kneelers and other equipment you need now (though, of course, a keen gardener will have received most of these as presents for Christmas)! Plan out your plot, sort out your fertiliser schedule, prepare your ground for early planting crops – and, of course, order your seeds, ready to go!
February, while trees are still dormant, is pretty much your last chance for planting and pruning fruit bushes and trees. And while it’s really the calm before the storm of planting, it’s a suitable month for starting off a few of the very first crops of 2018. It’s the time for planting out Jerusalem artichokes, shallots and garlic, for instance. If you’ve got a coldframe, greenhouse or polytunnel, you can start to sow summer cabbages, turnips and spinach. On windowsills, it’s a good time to start onions from seed, along with aubergines, peppers, chillies and tomatoes. And if you’re a rhubarb-forcer, you need to start business now!
February isn’t an easy month, in many ways. But knowing that spring is (honestly) just round the corner – and using the dark days to prepare for it – can help lighten the darkness.allotment, February, gardening, Seeds
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This post was written by Yzanne