It's February! Can you believe that this year is one - twelfth over? (I had to google check twelfth, that word looks weird!) When my other half reminded me it was Jan 31st, I was blind sided. There's a lot to do in Texas spring gardens, or whatever "spring-ish" season this is. Hey, we have a word for it! It's the "cool season", from about November through Mid march when Texas Summer comes back. Haha, ok I'll stop griping about the summers here, but the heat is hard on a gardener, it makes me bitter.
For an overview of the subject, we have a free quick refence guide about Texas growing seasons when you sign up for our newsletter near the bottom of our homepage. It's nice to have on the fridge to keep us planning ahead.
Speaking of planning, when you're sketching out a plan for your garden beds remember to note their days to maturity, which veggies are quickly harvested (radishes), and which will be long time residents (potatoes or even artichokes). With a plan in hand you can predict what spaces will be open and when for warm season planting in a few weeks. Pro tip: Put radishes and lettuces where you'll need space for tomatoes asap. Even baby greens are awesome.
So what do we plant in February? Well, check out our handy dandy...infographic:
That's a lot so here's a break down:
Sow by Seed - Asian Greens, Beets, Bok Choy, Carrots, Collards, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustard, Parsnips, Peas, Radishes, Rutabaga, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Turnips.
- These tough guys prefer to be seeded right into the bed, being moved upsets them big time, so they're not good for transplanting.
Plant - Artichoke Crowns, Asian Greens, Asparagus Crowns, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collards, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustard, Onion Bulbs, Potatoes, Shallots, Spinach, Swiss Chard.
- These guys are better started from plants to get a crop in time. Some will remain in the garden in the warm seasons like potatoes and chard, some will fizzle out once it warms up, so keep an eye on the harvest dates when planning. (Ahem...stay tuned for our post on tips for planting potatoes!)
Herbs - Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Echinacea, Fennel, Lavender, Parsley, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme.
- Herbs are the workhorses of the garden, for we frugal folks it is here you'll get the best bang for your buck. Plant several, and a few plants of each kind if you use them often. Trim your herbs to keep them tidy and bushy, dry or freeze to preserve the extras, and you're saving dollars every bundle! Wish as we might, "salsa gardens" aren't a thing here, because cilantro toasts when tomatoes thrive. But we plant plenty in the cool season, it's wonderful on everything! (I hear it's genetic that some folks hate cilantro, I don't understand them.)
Flowers - Calendula, Dianthus, English Daisy, Nasturtium, Pansy, Snap Dragon, Sweet Peas (not edible, but gorgeous!), and Viola.
- We love combining flowers into the kitchen garden to welcome pollinators and for a little pop of color. Who says productivity can't be cute too? Here are some favorite posies to tuck into your beds.
Bed Preparation - Remember that anytime you do some planting, prepping your soil will vastly improve your results. Mixing in some compost and a little balanced fertilizer (we stick with organic options like MicroLife) will work wonders. Those pictures you see of glorious overflowing garden beds...fertilizer, you bet your boots. Compost also improves soil texture and water retention. A good rule of thumb is to never buy a plant without some compost to go with it, and fertilize regularly as they grow, following labels and plant needs.
So there you have it! Some of the best things to grow in February. We still have some cool season growing to do, and for many gardeners this is their favorite time of year in the garden.
We're sure loving it!
Apart from with our garden design, we also offer garden coaching if you would like more detailed guidance for your own gardening dreams. We would be so happy to help you!