It's that time of year again when eager gardeners and food growers can let their fingers get back into the dirt, even if just to sift soil for seed flats. There are certain plants that are great to start either indoors or outdoors in February, depending on which climate you are in. Use our gardening calendar tips below to prep your kitchen garden for another successful growing season!
1. Harvest Over-Winter Vegetables
If you have any over wintering vegetables still growing in your garden beds, such as kale, cabbages or root veggies, it's time to clear the space for the newcomers. You can store root vegetables in a root cellar or cool, dark place in your house.
2. Start Seeds
Sow early lettuce, spinach, herb and brassica seeds in pony packs or seed trays indoors or in a greenhouse if you are still experiencing frosted or below 10 degrees Fahrenheit nights. If you live in a colder climate, it's also time to start your pepper, tomato and eggplant seeds, as they will take longer to germinate and grow. Make sure all your seeds receive as much sunlight as possible, and make sure they stay moist.
3. Prep Your Potatoes
Potatoes can be left in a dark place at room temperature, allowing them to sprout for planting. Once they have sprouted, cut them into as many chunks as you can, each with at least 1 sprout (preferably two) and lay them on racks to heal and dry. Once a skin has formed over the cut parts, the potatoes are ready to plant.
4. Prep the Ground
Depending on whether you are working with larger beds directly in the ground, or with raised beds, you should either use a tiller or hand till the soil. Use a garden fork if you are had tilling, and make sure to turn the soil at least a foot down.
5. Test Your Soil
Testing your soil before planting is always a good idea, just to see what nutrients it may be lacking in and what amendments you may want to add. Soil test kits are available online, and are often very affordable at costs between $5 and $25.
6. Sow Peas, Potatoes & Jerusalem Artichokes
Once the danger of frost has passed in your area, it's time to get the spring's first harvest planted into the ground. Sweet peas, potatoes and jerusalem artichokes are all hardy enough to weather the lingering cold, and will be ready for you to enjoy by late spring or early summer.
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Image: Chiot's Run