The February Garden – Under Construction

February Garden - Under construction
February Garden – Under construction

The February garden in Zone 9 is under construction, in transition from winter to spring. Many crops are still to be planted, but some others are already in the ground and growing. The last frost free date is still ahead in March, so February gardening is about frost-tolerant vegetables.

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Herb Garden Plots

In my garden, the herbs are either dead or coming back again. I dug up my mint plant to get rid of the ants that were living there. I made cuttings from the plant, then used boiling water to kill the mound. Then I re-planted the mint in a bottomless pot to keep it from spreading. Using lawn edging works as well. The Stevia died from the frost, but it is re-growing from the roots. The Oregano in plot 1 is thriving. The Lemon balm didn’t make it.

Plot 2 had the Basil, Parsley, Thyme and Cilantro. The Parsley survived the frost, and is now regrowing. The others didn’t make it through the winter.

In Plot 3, the Rosemary died back. It still has a strong smell, so maybe all is not lost. I have another Rosemary plant on my back deck that I can re-plant there if the plot 3 plant doesn’t come back.

Finally, in plot 4, the only thing left growing is the Chives. I replanted 4 pieces of Ginger this weekend, with more to be planted later. Last season, we didn’t plant enough to last through the season.

Vegetable Garden Plots 5-8

In the vegetable plots, I am going to rotate the crops between leaf, root, fruit and fallow ground. Doing crop rotation like this will make planning easier, and keep the insect and fungal problems down.

I have planted plot 5 in leaf crops: Kale, Lettuce, Spinach and Swiss Chard. Plot 6 will be fruit, and I will plant Zucchini there later in the season. Plot 7 is for root crops: carrots and beets for now. They should have been planted earlier, perhaps in November or December of last year. I have some others growing from that time frame elsewhere in the garden. Those are ready to be harvested when we need them. That’s what I meant when I titled this post “Under Construction;” there are things growing, things going in, and other things planned for planting later on.

Plot 8, 12 and 16 are fallow this year. I will plant clover and other nitrogen fixing plants there this year to enrich the soil, and give it a rest. Between plots 8 and 9, I have my trellis. This year, I am trying a leaning trellis, thinking that the fruits will be more visible hanging away from the trellis than through all the leaves. The key here is visibility, as you can easily let you cucumbers grow too big and become less than edible. I have beans and peas this season. As the season goes on, I will plant shade-loving leaf crops in the shade of the trellis, hopefully prolonging their growing season.

Vegetable Garden Plots 9-18

In plot 9, I will plant leaf crops again. This is the plot that kept producing throughout the winter for us. It is still growing, although, we have used most of the Kale. Plot 13 is also scheduled for leaf crops, but it is planted in Broccoli and Cauliflower right now. Like I said, ‘Under Construction.’

Fruit crops will grow in plots 10 and 14: Tomato, Pepper and Eggplant. They will be planted later in the season, after it warms up.

Plot 11 is root crops. I have just planted my Potato crop here. It is in a low spot in the garden, so as the plants grow, and I hill up dirt around them, the plot will become a raised bed.

Corn will be planted in plot 15, along with winter squash and pole beans.

Cantaloupe, Pumpkin and Watermelon will go into plots 17 and 18, also later in the season.

Other Plots

Along the fence are Cauliflower, Broccoli and Cabbage. I planted them too late; they should have been planted last year also, but the frost intervened. My Malabar Spinach that self-seeded last year is already sprouting again. I will also have Cucumbers and pole beans and pole peas growing and using the fence as a trellis and windbreak.

So, that is what my “under construction” garden looks like in mid-February. The next post will be about what needs to be done in your garden to be ready for spring and summer harvests. Let me know what your garden looks like in the comments section below!

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