Pippa Greenwood what to plant in February
Continuing our series follow along with gardening inspiration, here is what to plant in February.
Planting Calendar: FEBRUARY
If you want an easy way to produce onions, plant some ‘sets’ – basically miniature onions. They are available in garden centres and online now, usually in bags of 50-100 (yes, a lot of onion soup!) They all taste great but some of my favourite onions to grow are ‘Red Baron’ and ‘Electric’ (both red varieties) and the while fleshed ‘Sturon’.
Where to plant Onion Sets
Choose a well drained spot with plenty of sun during the summer for best results.
Plant each onion set 10-15cm apart, with 30-40cm between each row. Plant so that the whispy bit of the pointed neck end just protrudes above the soil surface and the rest is below ground. I find birds love to pull them out of the ground – infuriating as you have to regularly re-plant them so that they can put their roots down. Did you know that the birds aren't after your onions? They are after the rich pickings surrounded by them. Read more about this here Exploring the Rhizosphere: how to grow trouble free onion sets
But back at our onion planting, there are a couple of solution to deter the birds. First is easy, cover each row with a Net Easy Tunnel or Micromesh Easy Tunnel then, once they have rooted and green shoots are appearing, remove the tunnel and use it on other young crops. Or secondly you can plant them in Rootrainers. They will develop strong roots so that when you plant them on the ground the birds will not have the strength to pull them out.
If you have a greenhouse or covered frame for growing your tomatoes, sow some seed now. Choose seed labelled as being for a greenhouse variety. I sow the seed into half-trays (if you want a lot of one variety) or small pots, with just a few seeds of each variety that I want in each container.
TIP 1: Don’t risk mixing varieties in a single pot or tray as they germinate and grow at different rates.
Space the seeds at least 1cm apart and press each one into the compost with a small dibber or the pointed end of pencil. Each needs to be covered in approx. 1-2mm of compost, so use the dibber or pencil to gently fluff over some compost.
TIP 2: Make sure you label each variety well – tomato seedlings are pretty well impossible to tell apart!
Stand the pots/trays in a gravel tray of water until the compost surface just glistens with moisture (usually about 20mins) , then remove, tap sharply to release excess moisture and pop them into a heated propagator.
Check out our top tips for growing tomatoes and the most common mistakes.
Seed potatoes make a great crop to grow, even if you don’t have a garden. Early this month get some ‘chitting’ ready to plant later.
Buy proper seed potatoes so that you know they are virus free, then place the tubers with their plumpest ends uppermost in a seed tray or old egg boxes. Place the trays in a well-lit, cool but frost free spot so that they can chit (small, sturdy, short shoots develop).
Chit each variety in a separate labelled tray as different types will be ready for planting at different times. I plant my potatoes into the garden in late March or April, but at the end of this month, why not plant a few into Potato Planters. If you want up to a 30%
bigger crop and are prepared to water a little more then you could even try a Vigoroot Potato Planter.
Check out our potato blogs here for some tips on when to plant seed potatoes and how to grow potatoes in planters.
I hope this helps you to decide what to plant in February.
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