February to me is the true start to a new year, this is the time that you can really get stuck in for the growing season. It is the last month that we are almost guaranteed frost and a good excuse to wrap up and go for a walk to enjoy those clear and crisp winter days.
The last chance to get some garlic in as it needs a period of cold weather to start it off. Also plant outside onion sets, celeriac, celery, broad beans, Brussels sprouts, calabrese and radish.
It is a good time to start off some seedlings that will benefit from a longer growing time such as Chili peppers, peppers, tomatoes and Aubergines.
Not many seedlings will survive the harshest weather that February has to offer and it is not worth the risk. However, if you really want to get ahead you could risk planting Jerusalem Artichokes. I have experimented this year and planted six grocery shop bought tubers all about 2 inches long and planted them as a boarded to part of my plot.
February is also a good month to plant rhubarb.
Preparing beds – A good time to clear your beds ready for the next season. Remove weeds, this can a thankless task especially if you have couch grass on your plot. Talk about this to most gardeners and they will say the same, “You only have to leave a small bit of root for it come back”, so get your hands in the soil and pull out as much as you can of this invasive plant. Also dig out dandelion roots whenever you see them. Dig in compost and rotted manure into your plot, dig about a spades depth down and add a layer then cover it over. Do not attempt this on days when the ground is frozen unless you wish to break up really heavy clay soil.
If you can get your hands on some wood then now is a good time to make borders for your beds. Check out the local skips (ask for skip owners permission) and don’t use chipboard or MDF as these contain chemicals that can leech into the soil.
Cover the ground with Mypex or old window to warm it up ready for growing season.
Firm the soil around newly planted trees.
Plan your plot for the coming season ensure that you keep to the good practice of crop rotation.