What to do in the vegetable garden in february?
The kitchen gardener has a busy month in February. Indoor and outdoor sowing and planting is ongoing in several areas. Some gardeners have already planted seeds. February is still the month for making plans and preparing for spring in the coldest locations, where there is snow on the ground. Here are some steps you can do this month to get your garden started:
Plan and design. Make a plan for your spring and summer gardens on paper. Make a basic strategy. Consider where the house, garage, shed, fences, walls, and tall trees will create shadows on the garden. Vegetables need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day to flourish. Place your garden near a source of water. Consider new crops and succession plantings if you’ve previously cultivated a vegetable garden. For ideas, go through gardening literature. If this is your first garden, keep an eye on it and map out where the snow melts earliest; these are wonderful areas for growing early vegetables. Consider each crop’s and crop family’s light, water, and nutritional requirements. Plant crops that have comparable requirements or crops from the same family together.
Consider your time and effort. Choose six kinds to plant this year if you have limited time and space. Tomatoes, snap beans, carrots, and greens like lettuce and chard will give you the most bang for your buck.
Succession and companion plantings. Every day of the growing season is used for succession planting (growing one crop after another throughout the growing season). Plan succession crops by mapping germination and harvest days for each crop and then determining which crop, given the duration of the growing season, may follow the crop before it. For example, warm-weather bush lima beans can follow cool-weather peas. Companion cropping pairs a fast-growing tiny crop with a slow-maturing crop, such as fast-growing radishes planted between slow-maturing carrots or shade-tolerant peas put under maize.
Record keeping. Set up a garden record keeping system right away. Keep track of variety dates, sowing, transplanting, flowering dates, and crop comments. Dates for planting and harvesting may be utilized to plan succession crops. Create a garden map to keep track of what was planted where; this map will come in handy if your garden labels get missing or unreadable. These data can assist you in planning your garden in the next years.
Seed orders. Examine online and mail-order catalogs for spring seeds and plants.
Garden tools and frames. Early this month, clean and repair tools. Make that cold frames and hotbeds are in good working order.
Seed sowing items. Assemble flats, soil, and sowing instruments. For slow-growing seedlings, use flats approximately 5 inches deep. Use two parts garden loam, one part sand, and one part leaf mold or humus in a seed starting mix or soil mix. A hand seed-sower might be useful.
Indoor seed sowing in cold regions. Check seed packs to learn how many days it takes from planting to germination. Hardy and half-hardy vegetable seeds should be planted around 6 to 8 weeks before seedlings may be hardened off in the coldframe or beneath cloches in the garden–typically 6 to 8 weeks before the average last frost date in spring. Start seedlings inside as soon as possible. Begin by planting cool-weather spring crops such as beets, cabbage family crops, celeriac, leaf lettuce and salad greens, bulb onions, parsley, radish, spinach, and turnips. Sow seeds of fragile warm-weather summer-harvest vegetables such as eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes that need 12 weeks or more inside near the end of the month. Place the sprouted seedlings under strong lighting. To avoid damping off, place seed starting cell packs in water trays with a copper-based fungicide. On warm days, ventilate the greenhouse or hotbed to minimize disease growth in the wet atmosphere.
Cold frame in mild-winter regions. In warmer climates, sow the following cool-weather spring crops in the cold frame: beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, lettuce and salad greens, onions, and parsley. Check that the soil in the seedbed is not too nitrogen-rich; this will result in succulent growth when early season plants are stronger and stockier before transplanting. Plants started inside may be hardened off in the coldframe before planting out in the garden. When the outside temperature climbs over 40oF, ventilate the coldframe. Before the sun goes set, close the frame once again. If the soil is dry 6 inches below in the cold frame, apply a gradual, deep watering directly in the soil on a warm day. Wet plant leaves should be avoided.
Rhubarb. Plant rhubarb roots three feet apart in compost-rich soil. The finest location is one that is open and sunny. During the growth season, rhubarb prefers lots of water and is a strong feeder; use old manure liberally and turn it under.
Spring onions. Plant tiny onion sets in a flat or box, cover with 1 inch of soil, and offer moderate light for spring onions the following month.
Tomatoes. Tomato seedlings planted in February will produce plants with one truss of blossom by mid-May.
Garden soil preparation. Winter mulch around perennial vegetables, brambles, and fruit trees should be checked and replenished as required. Plants that have been frost-heaved should be pushed back into the soil. Prepare planting beds this month if the weather allows and the soil is dry enough to work. When the soil is not moist, turn, spade, or till the garden. If your soil is overly acidic, add lime. Winter cover crops and green manures should be mowed and turned under if the soil is dry enough to cultivate. To planting beds, add 2 inches of seasoned garden compost. Add an inch of well-aged manure to each bed if you won’t be planting for 6 weeks.
Direct seed. Squeeze a handful of garden soil; if the dirt breaks and falls apart, you may direct plant crops. Cover the bed with polyethylene to warm the soil for early planting. Warm, sandy soil is ideal for planting carrots, onions, and early potatoes. Beets, cabbage plants, carrots, cauliflower plants, chard, lettuce, mustard, onions plants and sets, peas, Irish potatoes, salsify, spinach, and turnips are other cool-weather crops that may be planted where the soil is workable. Check seed packs to ensure that the types you’re planting are OK for early sowing. Most seed needs a soil temperature of 45oF or above to germinate; verify with a soil thermometer before sowing. Planting should be delayed until the soil is warm, else you risk seeds decaying or poor germination. If the weather turns chilly, be prepared to cover plants with cloches, row covers, and plastic tunnels.
Compost. Start new compost bins this month.
Squash boxes. Make cheesecloth-covered frames to cover melon, squash, and cucumber hills later in spring to keep cucumber beetles and squash bugs out. A cover should be about three feet square and one foot tall.
Fruit trees and vines. During the dormant season, transplant deciduous fruit trees and vines. Water fresh transplants well both before and after planting.
When the weather permits, prune your fruit trees and vines as follows: Apples, pears, berries, brambles, and grapes are among the fruits available. Remove any branches that are broken or damaged. While the plants are still dormant, do the trimming.
Prune autumn-fruiting raspberries. Vine fruited last fall should be pruned down to ground level. Raspberries planted in the spring should be pruned to 12 inches above soil level. Summer-fruiting raspberries should be pruned to just over the top wire, and freshly planted canes should be trimmed down to approximately 9 inches. Cut the stems of freshly planted and two-year-old gooseberries in half. Spray for gooseberry mildew on gooseberries and black currants.
When the temperature rises above 45oF, use a dormant oil spray to treat fruit trees for overwintering pests. This must be done when the plants are still dormant. To prevent peach-leaf curl, spray peaches, nectarines, and almonds with a copper-based fungicide. Spray apples and pears that are susceptible to scab infestation. Spray fruit trees as soon as the buds start to swell. Apply a second spray 14 days after the first to trees vulnerable to peach-leaf curl.
Plant fruit trees such as figs, blackberries, blueberries, currant bushes, raspberries, and strawberries. Fertilize citrus and tropical fruits that are already established.
Use well-rotted compost to mulch all freshly planted trees, shrubs, and cane fruits. Mulch grapevines and gooseberries with compost or well-rotted manure.
Regional garden guide for February:
Regional gardening suggestions. These recommendations are separated into four primary geographical regions: the North and East and Midwest (zones 2 in the northernmost areas to 6 along the coast), the South (zones 7 in the north to 10 in the deep south), the Southwest and California (zones 7 in the coolest areas to 11), and the Northeast (zones 7 in the coolest areas to 11). (zones 5 in the highest elevations to 8 along the coast).
North and East and Midwest. Plan the food garden for spring and summer. Rhubarb and endive are forced. Plant early cabbage, cauliflower, celery, radishes, peppers, and tomatoes inside. Set out asparagus roots, horseradish, onion sets, and rhubarb late in the month where the ground may be handled. Parsnips that have been overwintered should be removed. Plant early potatoes in hotbeds late in the month.
South. Plant or sow in the garden where the soil may be worked. Asparagus, beets, black-eyed peas, broccoli, cabbage plants, carrots, cauliflower plants, chard, collards, endive, kale, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, onion sets or plants, parsley, peas, Irish potatoes, radish, spinach, turnip, and turnip greens. Before planting transplants, examine the typical date of the last frost in your region. Set out seedlings of tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers late in the month in far southern locations when all risk of frost has gone. (be ready to protect these crops should the temperature drop). Warm season crops to start inside this month include bush and pole beans, limas, butterbeans, squash, cucumbers, cantaloupe, pumpkin, and watermelons. Most of these crops will need 7 to 8 weeks to mature before they can be transplanted into the garden.
Southwest and California. Plant perennial vegetables such as artichokes, asparagus, rhubarb, and horseradish early in the month when the roots are still dormant. Plant potatoes in warm, sandy soil. Set out transplants of beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, chard, Italian sprouting broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, mustard, onion seedlings and sets, parsley, Irish potatoes in well-composted soi, radishes, and turnips by mid-month. Sow warm season crops inside by the end of the month in all areas: bush and pole beans, limas, butterbeans, cantaloupe, cucumber, eggplant, peppers, pumpkin, squash, tomatoes, and watermelons. Place no warm-season plants in the garden until nighttime temperatures above 50°F. Avocados may be planted this month to promote healthy leaf development before the summer. Young trees may be protected from trunk sunburn by building a simple shade cloth structure to shade trunks on the south and west sides.
Northwest. Sow carrots, onion seeds, and early potatoes early this month in sandy soil that heats rapidly. Plant in warm, moist soil. Make a cold frame or a heated bed if the weather continues chilly. Start cool-weather crops during the third week of the month: asparagus roots, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, lettuce, onions, peas, early potatoes, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, turnips. Make a second pea planting before the end of the month.
What vegetables should be planted in February?
Vegetable Seeds to Start in February
- Brussels Sprouts.
What fruits and vegetables can you grow in February?
What’s in Season? February Produce Guide
- Brussels Sprouts.
- Citrus Fruits.
When should I start my winter vegetable garden?
Prepare for Summer. Remember that winter vegetable cultivation does not begin in the winter. Most seeds should be planted in the mid to late summer or early autumn to give the plant enough time to grow before the winter weather arrives. For many of us, this means planting in August and September.
Which month is best for vegetable garden?
In general, March and April are the optimum months to start planting many hardy annual vegetable seeds outside, such as broccoli, cabbage, chard, carrots, peas, and parsnips, as the earth starts to warm.