February in the Garden Smallholding

The beginning of the month was a bit hairy with gale force winds battering most of the UK for almost a week, the chickens were not impressed and retreated to the safety of the coops, only leaving to eat. Despite this daily egg laying has increased this month to 4 out of 6 hens laying – plenty of eggs for our needs. Red mite in the chicken coop could be a potential problem anytime from now as the temperature begins to rise, I highly recommend dusting the inside of your coop with Diatom powder as a precaution, used regularly you shouldn’t have a problem.

I have been sowing seeds this month, tomatoes, broad beans and hardy outdoor cucumber along with an early sowing of radish outdoors undercover. Lupin and foxglove are doing well, some of the lupin seedlings already have their first set of true leaves. The last parsnips have been lifted this month and the rhubarb patch is looking great, in just a matter of weeks I will probably be harvesting the first sticks of  Timperley Early. Garlic is looking good too despite being under a blanket of snow for weeks, plenty of healthy green top growth. I planted garlic cloves in October and December and the December bulbs are almost catching up.  I planted Jerusalem artichokes outside yesterday near the patch of rhubarb, I’m hoping the height of the plants will cast some shade during the warmer months which I’m sure the rhubarb will appreciate as it tends to sulk during prolonged hot weather and requires a lot of watering.

Daffodils, ornamental allium and chives are pushing their blade-like leaves through the soil, fresh leaf growth is appearing on the blackcurrant bush and blackberry canes and the pear tree will be in blossom very soon. Ladybirds are starting to come out of hibernation now and wild birds are looking for suitable nesting sites….the eaves of our house seems to be popular again! What have you been doing this month?

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7 comments

  1. I’ve decided that I don’t like February much but it’s good to read a post like this which does help to cheer me up!
    Apart from eating the last my onions and potatoes, counting beans and shuffling seed packets I’ve been mostly armchair gardening! Flighty xx

  2. Exciting! I’m holding off on the tomatoes until next week, but I have got chillies on the go, and various cabbages sown in modules in the greenhouse along with the broad beans. Good to hear you are combining Jerusalem Artichokes with rhubarb as I plan to do the same, though I am still waiting for my tubers to arrive. Mind you, its also too wet to dig the bed where they are to be planted, so I’m fine with that! Happy Spring.

  3. Just found your site, I will be coming back! Wanted to share with you my newest post on the same subject, the strange weather & early crops of February in Oregon– see my blog. Sounds like we have almost the same season, my rhubarb is up too, though I haven’t seen any new shoots on the asparagus yet. Mostly just sowing seeds in the little greenhouse and hoping for some warmer weather.

  4. I’m with Flighty – I don’t like February. The signs of new life are there but the weather contrives to keep you from doing anything. Maybe it’s Nature’s way of stopping us getting ahead of ourselves? It’s another dready day here but your post is cheering.

  5. The weather in NY has been way too cold – but yesterday we got a warm spell and everyone was outside cleaning out the beds. Most of our plants are still hiding but the daylilies, hosta, and thyme are poking their little heads out. ;)

  6. Its lovely reading a round up everyone’s month in the garden. March is going to packed with busy blog posts! I really wish I could grow foxgloves. They would fit so well in my garden but the snails don’t give them a chance, the come out of their hiding places in the stone walls and munch away. I don’t even bother now. A number of people have said they are sowing their tomatoes seeds but I always thought if they were sowed a little later there is less chance of blight, or am I wrong?

    Ronnie

  7. Hi Ronnie! I don’t know how much space you have, but a couple of hens would sort out your snail population….and slugs! ;)

    I normally sow tomatoes to grow outdoors around March/April, last year I grew mine in a plastic tomato house. The reason I am sowing tomatoes earlier this year is because I have a glass greenhouse on order! How exciting, I never ever thought I would be able to afford one!

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