What's on the Calendar for February gardening this year?
Well you will be happy to know that you can start sowing some herbs seeds right now indoors, in the greenhouse, and even directly into the garden.
Most of us are itching to get back out into the garden but as you know, in February plants are not quite ready to awaken.
The chances of frost are high too, so apart from a few herbs that can be started outside or in the greenhouse you will have to wait a little longer for vigorous outdoor activity.
Indoors is a different story! We can begin sowing basil, parsley, sage, thyme, salad rocket and French marigold.
The first five are good culinary herbs to start off a herb garden for 2019. Investing in an electric propagator to sit on a windowsill will bring back dividends.
I recommend the VIVOSUN 10"x 20.75" Germination Kits with Seedling Heat Mat and Digital Thermostat MET Standard because a unit with a thermostat gives you control over temperature. This is ideal for crazy weather patterns where one day it can be hot and the next day freezing cold.
They're designed to create a cosy environment where seeds can easily germinate. Temperature needs to be kept at a steady level that`s just right for success.
Don`t Compromise on the Compost
If you want a good healthy crop obtain fresh compost for the new year's herb garden. For the seeds buy a recommended seedling compost for good initial results.
Herbs that spring to life early in February are tarragon with its fresh light green shoots peeping through the soil while other herbs sleep on, and rosemary that blooms during this early month supplying nectar for the early bees when nothing much else is on offer.
Keep these delightful early surprises under cover as sudden frosts and snow can affect them.
If you can brace the elements, German chamomile can be started in February in the greenhouse or sown direct into soil. Don't confuse it with Roman chamomile which is taller and has a stronger aroma.
German chamomile is high in volatile oil, good for healing burns, and a great anti-inflammatory. It is milder and less bitter in taste so makes a nice cup of chamomile tea.
another herb that can be sown outside. Sow and place a cloche over
the area to protect Chervil and German chamomile seeds and seedlings
from birds, snails and other creatures on their winter forage.
Don't sniff at wild strawberries. They may be small but have a unique rich taste that differs from our bigger cultivated strawberries.
Wild strawberry is a hardy perennial!
I have kept mine in a pot raised off the ground, under a tarpaulin, and with a fleece protecting it this winter. So far the plant is looking very healthy with a strawberry or two still there from last year and some flower buds appearing. Amazing!
Other herbs to sow in the greenhouse or under glass now are pot marigolds and fennel.
A February gardening project you can carry out on the balcony or patio is to get your pots and planters ready and in place.
Some tiered wooden planters need to be assembled but don't shy away from the task.
It can be quite rewarding when you see the end product and keeping busy helps the time slip buy quickly. Before you know it, Spring will be here.
Invest in a few pot caddies. They make life easier if you need to move a few pots around.
Chances are you didn't make a new herb garden plan in the previous months.
No worries! There is still time to sketch up a rough idea what you want to grow, the kind of pots or planters to use, and where to place them.
Hint of Herbs is where you will get to know me a whole lot better as I busy about in my daily life. Read short snippets of herb garden related topics. Little interesting things that don`t normally find their way onto my pages.
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