Welcome to the vegetable garden calendar February job list, part of the month to month guide to vegetable gardening. Here is your gardening list for the month of February.
The jobs list for February can be split into two, indoor jobs that will amount to quite a substantial sowing list for a warm windowsill or propagator, and outdoor jobs that are so weather dependent that they are impossible to plan for.
Most outdoor jobs will be completely down to the weather, as the ground is often frozen during February, if not, it’s most likely saturated.
During a mild and dryish winter there could be a case for sowing outdoors, and some seed packets such as beetroot, radishes, rocket, broad beans, lettuce and early peas will tell you to sow directly outdoors from now.
Over the years you may have learned to never trust the weather and would prefer to sow under cover or indoors, but if you are tempted to direct sow it is well worth erecting a cloche over the bed a few weeks before sowing, it will help keep the bed dry and also warm up the soil.
Other outside jobs will really be a catch up on anything that you haven’t managed yet, as February is your last chance to get those winter jobs done.
Here’s a quick list to remind you where you should be with your winter vegetable garden calendar February job list.
The potato bed should be manured and the potatoes should be chitting.
The bean trench should be finished, and the greenhouse should be clean and organized, also the plant pots would benefit from a quick rinse.
One job that is definitely worth while doing is double checking the pH of the brassica bed. If you follow our rotation plan the pH should be perfect, but it is still worth checking out.
How do you achieve the perfect brassica beds?
It’s what you do at each stage of the crop rotation that gives you an alkaline, firm and highly nutritional bed for the brassica patch, have a look at the rotation plan to find out how we achieve this.
When you test the PH, you are looking for a result of between 6.5 and 7.0, and as long as the bed achieves this there is no need to do anything. However, if it is below 6.5 you will need to dress the soil with a dusting of horticultural lime to correct it.
You can get some great value soil testing kits on eBay
February is the start of the growing season, as this is when you can really put your sowing timetable into action.
Cool loving plants such as true spinach, winter hardy lettuce and rocket can be sown under glass or on a windowsill, as can broad beans, early peas, Jerusalem artichokes, summer cabbages and cauliflowers. It’s also a good idea to get the purple sprouting broccoli off to an early start, the plant gets quite large and will benefit from a long growing season.
Directly sow radishes and beetroot if weather permits, and if you are growing onions from seed, sow thinly in large pots and place on a cool windowsill.
Towards the end of the month sow leaf beets, chards and leeks, and in the propagator start off your tomatoes, peppers, celeriac and aubergines.
During February you could be picking parsnips, swede, leeks, perpetual spinach, true spinach, hardy lettuce, early cabbage and possibly celeriac, curly kale and sprouts. One new addition to your picking list will be purple sprouting broccoli. This is a welcome new crop that could be blessing your plate any time now.