February is a quiet time in the garden calendar.
It’s a time where you can relax a little. Watch as the frost comes and goes, blanketing the grass and veg beds in a beautiful frost, which if you’re like me, you love to simply watch because it’s a different kind of beauty compared to the vivid colours that come with the rest of the year.
February is a brilliant time to get all those niggly jobs done that you won’t have time to do later on in the year.
So if you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener, us the top tips below to get ahead this 2020!
Plan what you’re going to grow
My garden is it’s own organic eco-system. A wild balance between wildflowers and vegetables. Fruits and chickens.
At the beginning of each year, I plan what’s going to happen in that eco-system based on these three questions:
- What’s your favourite things to eat?
- Is there anything you want to try growing this year? (Giant pumpkin is ALWAYS on that list dear reader.)
- What companions with they need?
Once you have the answers to those questions, you’re pretty much good to go!
But what do I mean about ‘companions’?
Companion planting is when you choose plants that are best friends with other plants. It encourages pollination, pest control, provides valuable habitats for insects and means you don’t have to use pesticides and other nasties. Nature does it for you!
An example of companion planting which has worked for me over the past two years has been:
- Pumpkins/squash, sweetcorn and green beans.
- Basil and tomatoes.
- Garlic and lettuce.
But there’s many, many more!
Balance your garden with wildflowers and vegetables, and watch as it becomes a natural flourishing space!
Clear out the rubbish
February is the time to clear out the crap.
Get rid of broken pots and sweep out the greenhouse. Repair any shelving and removed any last bits of last years waste – I’m looking at you dried up sunflowers!
If you’re planting indoors or on a balcony, clear the space you’re planning to use and make sure the windows are clean enough to allow in the light.
Check the compost heap
This is something I do on a non-frosty day.
Last year I found two brussel sprout stalks growing out of my heap which I happily took inside and mixed with butter and bacon!
It’s a good time to see if there’s any soil you can use and to give it a good turn. Plus, you might find some food growing in there too!
Not got a compost heap?
If you have the space, I’d always recommend getting one. You’re saving money by making your own fertiliser and it’s a brilliant place for most of your food waste and grass clippings to go.
Short on space?
Try a wormery! It’s something I’m looking to reintroduce back in to my garden this year after nearly 10 years without one!
The worms LOVE munching through what you don’t want. And the soil they produce is especially useful if you’re balcony or full garden gardening.
A last note – have you met my chickens?
If you have the space, I would highly recommend getting your own rescue hens. They’re an amazing addition to any grow your own garden and they’re such characters!
My neighbours little girl calls mine ‘mini dinosaurs’ and they kind of are!
Hens will not only give you eggs, but they make great gardening companions and will eat any grubs you don’t want in the soil.
They also provide great manure and they’re egg shells can provide valuable nutrients
Mine have all been rescued from the British Hen Welfare Trust a charity that saves commercial hens from ending up being slaughtered after a life of intensive farming.
I know, heartbreaking! And I will later on go in to detail about my love for my hens. And my displeasure at how every present I receive is chicken themed…sigh.
The main thing is to have fun out there! And tag me @therebalancechef on social with your progress or questions!