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Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Monday 1 February 2021

The Vegetable Plot - February

 Plan the plot

Crop rotation is as important in the garden as it is in agriculture. Without it, you are susceptible to the increase in soil-living pests and diseases which harm your vegetables. Cropping with the same vegetable in the same area will also leave the soil’s nutrients unbalanced. 

If you are new to growing vegetables these tips from an earlier Gardener’s Journal will be a help: Work out a crop rotation chart according to your preference in vegetables. Ideally, do ROOTS in year one: beetroot, carrot, chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, parsnip, potato, BRASSICAS in year two: broccoli, Brussels sprout, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohl robi, radish, swede, turnip and OTHERS in year three: aubergine, bean, capsicum, celeriac, celery, cucumber, endive, leek, lettuce, marrow, onion, peas, spinach, sweet corn, tomato. 

Of course, if you have the space you can grow neighbouring beds and rotate accordingly to ensure a vegetable crop throughout the year. The rules for sowing seed outdoors are: not too early, not too deeply and not too thickly, so check your seed packets for sowing times. February is a good time to break down clods in the plot and dig in fertiliser, so you don’t scorch new seedings. If you already have your vegetable patch, make a checklist of other jobs to be done in February. 

Check overwintered crops such as brassicas, leeks and onions, clear away diseased or damaged leaves. Sow leeks, onions and celeriac under cover, start chitting early seed potatoes upright in egg boxes or trays with the eye end uppermost. That’s a start.

  • Sow parsley in a warm, sheltered place
  • Clear old cabbage and cauliflower beds
  • Lift and store parsnips
  • Mulch asparagus and artichokes with well-rotted manure or garden compost
  • Sow broad beans in a heated greenhouse or frame
  • Sow parsnips outdoors
  • Sow Brussels sprouts, cabbages, carrots, cauliflowers, lettuces, onions, leeks, parsnips, peas, radishes, spinach, tomatoes and turnips  

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