The last few February’s have often been the coldest winter month. However spring is not far away. It’s usually better to hold off than try to sow in cold waterlogged ground that will rot seeds rather than germinate them. With our local soil being a clay the ground can be very wet and heavy.
Finish tasks such as digging over, creating leafmould heaps etc.
Give the greenhouse a good clean, ensure the glass is firmly secured. Give the greenhouse a thorough clean before seed growing season.
Wash out and sterilise seed trays and pots so you seedlings will get off to the best possible start.
You can cover soil with plastic sheeting, fleece or cloches to warm it up for a couple of weeks before you start to sow and plant.
There may still be some leeks available to harvest. Parsnips, turnips and swedes in the ground can be dug up when you are ready.
The cabbage family should be providing some early purple sprouting, kale and Brussels sprouts also available.
Other crops you may have: salsify, scorzonera, chicory, endive, celeriac, celery and Jerusalem artichokes.
Sowing & Planting
If conditions are suitable you can sow your broad beans in February along with early peas for a May / June harvest.
Jerusalem artichokes and shallots can be planted now, although shallots will benefit from covering with a cloche.
If you have a greenhouse, you can get an early crop of lettuce, rocket and radish underway. You can utilise cloches outdoors but success will be more dependent on the weather.
Onions from seed should be started now. They need about 15 degrees to get them going so you may be best using the windowsill in a cool room to start them off.
Fruit Planting & Pruning
There is still time to finish planting fruit trees and bushes, especially raspberries and other cane fruits.
Early this month you can prune apple and pear trees while they are still dormant. It’s also time to prune gooseberries and currants. With currants shorten the side shoots to just one bud and remove old stems from the centre of the bushes.
Rhubarb can be forced for an early crop of the sweetest stalks. Just cover a crown with a bucket or an upturned large pot and insulate the outside with straw or compost for added heat.