February has arrived bringing with it lengthening days and a fresh feeling of optimism.
At the Garden Barn we delight in watching the gardens we care for start to wake from their wintery slumber and begin to show the first signs of life re-emerging. With majestic hellebores appearing though the frost, swathes of snowdrops and clumps of golden daffodils dancing in the breeze, we think it’s a time of year to cherish.
It’s also a particularly busy time of year for kitchen gardeners. February may be a sparse month for picking in most gardens but it’s the perfect time to start preparing beds, as well as ensuring greenhouses and cold frames are clean and primed for the influx of seedlings that will adorn their every surface in the coming months.
With this in mind we’ve collated our top kitchen garden jobs for this February:
Improve your soil
Healthy soil and a nutrient rich growing environment are the basis of thriving plants. Taking time to thoroughly prepare your kitchen garden beds by incorporating high quality compost or well rotted manure will ensure that all of your hard work pays off and you get treated to the best possible yields from your plants.
Plant fruit trees
Bare-root planting takes place, in the main, from mid-November until March so now is the time, to get your fruit trees planted before the winter’s over. We prefer to plant bare-root not only because it causes the least stress and damage to the trees and offers the greatest opportunity to form a well-established root mass, as a bonus its most cost effective too. Planting this way gives trees the best possible starting point from which to spring into action as the warmer season arrives.
Chit your potatoes
Already dreaming of those first butter-tossed new potatoes? We certainly are. By placing seed potatoes in an old egg box or seed tray and positioning them in a light, frost-free spot they will sprout green knobbly growths which will give them a head start and ensure that you can tuck in even sooner!
Plant tomato seeds
Feasting on ripe tomatoes straight from the vine is one of summer’s great joys. If you yearn to produce an abundance of these delicious plump red fruits this summer now is the time to get them planted in your greenhouse. Make sure that you place them in a warm spot to germinate and then, when you have pricked them out and repotted them, find a sunny place so that they get plenty of sunshine.
Plant broad beans
Now is the time to plant the humble broad bean. These often overlooked vegetables are not only delicious fresh from the garden, they are also a great choice no matter how inexperienced a gardener you are. They’re easy to grow and when ready to pick they signal the beginning of the bountiful season ahead.
As with all legumes, to guarantee a bumper crop dig in plenty of rich compost to give them the best start. Don’t forget to plant some parsley this spring to sprinkle over them when cooked.
Ready to add a kitchen garden to your home? We can lead you through the process from start to finish. From design and build to maintaining and developing your kitchen garden, our team can help provide you with yields of your favourite produce from right outside your door.