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February in the Kitchen Garden

Are you managing to contain your excitement? Are you resisting the urge to start too soon? Are you resisting temptation as the garden shops start to fill their shelves again?

I find February one of the toughest months as a kitchen gardener; it’s hard to get on the soil because of the weather, it’s too early (cold) to start the vast majority of the sowings, the seed catalogues have lost their appeal after the 17th reading and, besides, I don’t need any seeds.

It’s also the toughest month for me as a scoffer of fresh hosam_0749me grown veg; apart from a few greens and root veg I’m now relying heavily on stored produce….the bottled toms are serving me well and I’m so glad I put in all that hard work at the end of last summer to get them stored but…..every February is the same……at this time of year I start to long for fresh versions of the summer veg; a fresh tomato, fresh (not frozen) peas, fresh beans, fresh fennel……the list goes on……

So, yes, I find February the toughest month. I will busy myself with jobs away from the soil; the fence still needs building, the pots and trays need cleaning with a solution of tea tree oil for its anti-microbial properties, the paper ‘pots’ need making from discarded, scrounged newspapers….there is much still to be getting on with.

I may even sow just a sprinkling of seeds. This is very early for me – I normally don’t start until mid-March – but I’m trying celariac and sweet peppers this year and they need to go in now. I won’t use artificial light or heat but rather rely on the the light and warmth of a south facing window…..and hope for the best.

Hang in there folks……we’re under starter’s orders!

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