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Wednesday 1 February 2017

The Vegetable Plot - February

Don’t forget to make the bed

The likelihood of late frosts that break down soil into a workable tilth, especially a heavy clay soil,
make this a good time to finish off any deep digging. If you’re on sandy loam then you’re spared the digging and just need to lightly fork over the vegetable plot, removing any weeds or vegetable residue. If you wish you can cover areas with cloches or polythene to help warm up the soil ready for early sowings of carrots, radishes, lettuce and summer cabbage at the end of the month. Shallots can be planted, making sure they are deeply seated so the birds can’t pull them out before they root.

Try planting Jerusalem artichokes and make successional sowings of broad beans and peas under fleece, again at the end of the month. Meanwhile hoe the weeds out of beds and generally prepare by clearing out old beds of Brussels sprouts and cabbages.

If the conditions allow, sparingly sow parsnips outdoors. Under glass sow celery, celeriac, cucumber, aubergines, tomatoes and peppers

  • Plant Jerusalem artichokes 1 metre/3 feet away from other vegetables as they grow very tall
  • Sow Brussels sprouts, cabbages, carrots, cauliflowers, lettuces, onions, leeks, parsnips, peas, radishes, spinach, tomatoes and turnips  
  • Plant artichokes, garlic, winter lettuce, early potatoes, rhubarb and seakale when conditions allow
  • Protect blossoms on apricots, nectarines and peaches
  • Harden off plants that have wintered under cloches – cauliflowers and lettuces
  • Net fruit and vegetable plants to keep birds off
  • Finish pruning damsons, plums and quince
  • Make a new bed for strawberries

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