February 2017

Keep an eye out for slugs, they love to snuggle down in the leaves of cabbages.
Remember to check your stored vegetables to make sure none are going rotten

Now is the time to stand your seed potatoes in shallow trays or old carboard egg cartons, with the 'eyes' facing skywards. when the tubers start to grow leave only the two strongest (you can rub the others off).

You can plant shallots now but the soil needs to be needs to be reasonably fine - and not too muddy so must of us will need to wait. When it does dry up a bit, push the bulbs firmly into the soil so that just the top third is peering out. Pants rows one foot apart and with 9 inches between the onions.

Spring cabbages
These can be planted out now - if that is, you have any.

Broad beans
If you have a gently heated greenhouse or a cold frame (only cover with mats at night if it is cold) sow some beans in pots. It should give you a good result and beats the blackfly if you sow in June.

Greenhouse sowing
A gently heated greenhouse means you can sow cauliflowers which like a long and steady growth season and a temperature of 55-60 degrees for germination. However, Mabel thinks Cauliflowers are difficult to grow so buys them from the supermarket.

You can also sow peas and lettuce ready for hardening off in Spring and tomaotes ready for summer. However, tomatoes are warm loving plants and become very miserable in the cold so your green house will need to be constanty warm.
A few seeds of cucumbers can be sown now but only if you have a heated tray as they like temperatures of 75 degrees gently flowing around their base to germinate.If you're really keen you can sow the sees in 3 inch pots (one seed per pot) filled with suitable compost ( Mr Stanford makes one of loan, leaf-mould and sand in about equal parts but Duffusbuys his from the local garden centre). You can tuck the pots upto their rims into a frame that is half filled with coconut fibre (Duffus buys this online at Garden Organic)

Last week in February - weather allowing.
It's generally a good idea to feed anything you've got in your plot like spring cabbages and soft fruit with a spray of seaweed or comfrey -it will perk them up no end.

Parsnips and turnips
If the soil is warm enough and not too wet, you can sow in a warm sheltered spot on the plot. For turnips, sow just a few seeds then make successional sowing every 8-10 days so you get a constant supply of young roots.

Herbs
At the end of Feburary, plant out some chives or divide old clumps that are overcrowded. Just lift the plants and gently pull apart. Mabel then dots them over the plot because 'the bees love their flowers and they look pretty.'

Parsley can be sown in a warm sheltered spot for an early summer harvest.

Mint can also be divided at this time. Mint can take over so best plant in an old pot or bucket with a few drainage holes.

Early Potatoes
If you have a very sheltered spot, south facing, not too wet and don't mind a small gamble, you can plant some early potatoes. You will need to take care of them and tuck the young shoots up with straw but you may be rewarded with some lovely early potatoes.

Fruit
Remember that this is the last week really for planting out any new fruit bushes or rhubarb

Finally, take a flask of coffee and one of Mabel's cakes and enjoy some quiet on your plot

More Plot Updates

September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
February 2017
January 2017
November 2016
September 2016
July 2016
June 2016