Winter is almost over. From the middle of the month, the garden starts to come out of its torpor. In the vegetable garden, continue harvesting endives, spinach, cabbage, escarole? Plant garlic, onion, shallot, prepare the planting of potatoes. Sow under cover or in the open ground parsley, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, peas, broad bean…
When to plant in February?
As February remains a very cold winter month, we will favour frost-free days and frost-free days announced in the next few days. Planting will be easier in a soil that will have been amended and protected from the cold under a thick mulch, such as a good layer of straw, or failing that, virgin cardboard (without trace, stain or tape).
Remember to water your new and young plantings during the following weeks. Be aware that the snow that covers the ground does not ensure soil moisture, on the contrary, taken in the form of snow, water is not assimilated by plants!
When to start planting?
It depends on the weather in your area and if you have a greenhouse.
Thus, plantings of plants that are not very sensitive to cold (called rustic) can be carried out in Mediterranean regions. Elsewhere, planting in a tunnel greenhouse can hasten the growth of certain plants.
The sowing of summer vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants, zucchinis, peppers … which require heat can be started as early as this month of February, in the warmth of the house!
17 fruits and vegetables to be planted in February
Easy to grow, the artichoke is a tasty vegetable that can also be a superb ornamental plant in the garden, thanks to its beautiful purple flowers. Depending on the variety, it can be eaten raw or cooked.
Asparagus particularly likes sandy soil, which heats up quickly. But it can be satisfied with a more classic soil. In any case, avoid cold and wet soils.
The eggplant is part of the Solanaceae family. It originates from India. Cultivated since Antiquity in India, it appeared in Europe from the 14th century and in France in the 17th century.
Broccoli is easier to grow than other cabbage.
It is best grown in deep, fresh, humus-rich, slightly clayey soil. Avoid soil that is too rich in nitrogen, which would favour foliage.
The carrot is the essential vegetable in the vegetable garden. Rich in vitamins and mineral salts, it can be eaten raw or cooked and is very tasty. Moreover, the carrot is easy to maintain, all you have to do is grow it!
Celeriac (Apium graveolens L. var. rapaceum) is a member of the Apiaceae family. It is native to southern Europe. This biennial plant is also called celeriac ball and celeriac turnip.
In cooking, celeriac has a spicy, pungent flavor with an aftertaste of hazelnut. It can be eaten raw (in salad, remoulade, grated, sliced) or cooked (sautéed, au gratin, mashed potatoes, fritters). It goes perfectly with meats and its bitter-tasting leaves are used to flavor soups.
7. Soy cabbage
All cabbages are from the same wild maritime plant, Brassica oleracea var. oleracea, growing on the European coasts. Cultivated for thousands of years, the cabbage has undergone so many successive selections that there are now species or varieties adapted to all temperate climates.
Cabbage was one of the most consumed vegetables from the Middle Ages until the beginning of the 20th century. Head cabbages are the oldest cultivated forms, along with green cabbages.
It is the most poorly known of the cabbage family. Well-appreciated in northern and northeastern Europe, kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes, Kohlrabi in German) remains little consumed in France, probably in reaction to its overconsumption during the Second World War.
Perhaps it is also wrongly assimilated to rutabaga (turnip cabbage), whose flesh is much less fine. In fact, kohlrabi is eaten with the swollen and fleshy base of the stem, and not the tuberized root, as is the case with turnip cabbage.
Spinach is an annual vegetable plant which is part of the Chenopodiaceae family. It would be native to the Middle East, Iran or Southwest Asia.
In cooking, spinach leaves are excellent, they can be eaten raw in salads or cooked in different ways: in juice, with fresh cream, butter, in pies and/or to accompany meat.
The lettuce is planted from February to October, depending on the variety and the cultivation method (indoors or outdoors).
The soil must have a pH close to neutral (6.7 to 7), its nature varies according to the time of production: a clean and well-drained soil for winter crops, light for spring, rather heavy and well provided with organic matter for summer and fall production.
The onion grows in light and draining soil, with sunny exposure. In slightly heavy soil, plant it on 10 cm high mounds that will improve water drainage.
On the other hand, do not plant the onion in recently smoky soil. It will be satisfied with the residues from other crops.
12. Sweet potato
The tubers are planted at the end of the winter in light and warm conditions (indoors or under a frame at about 20 °C) so that they produce young shoots that will be rooted always warm, before being put in place in the spring.
This vegetable generally multiplies by cutting but it is however possible to sow small seeds. In February-March, place the seeds in a warm terrine (on a window sill inside the house, for example).
14. Chili pepper
Sowing is done under a heated shelter from mid-February to the end of March. The requirements of the chilli (or bell pepper) are simple: light, warmth and a light, loose, well-drained soil, rich in organic matter. It must therefore be planted in the sun, sheltered from the wind.
In the vegetable garden, leeks get along well with carrots: the smell of leeks repels the carrot fly and the carrot, for its part, keeps the leek moth away from the leek.
It also goes well with celery, strawberries, tomatoes, lamb’s lettuce and asparagus. On the other hand, it does not associate well with beans, cabbage and peas.
Rotation of the cultures: it is advised to wait at least 4 years before planting it in the same place.
Chickpeas like a warm and sunny exposure. It appreciates a sandy, stony and dry soil.
In the vegetable garden, chickpeas require large spaces, because their roots spread out a lot, up to 1.50 to 2 m. This is why it cannot be grown in pots.
The radish is planted from February to October, depending on the variety and the cultivation method (under frame or in the ground).
Good to know: in the vegetable garden, it gets along with most plants (cabbage, cucumber, carrot, bean, spinach, strawberry, lettuce, peas, parsley). However, the vicinity of chervil brings spice to these roots.
Work and maintenance of the vegetable garden in February
Even though it is often cold, in February the days begin to get longer and the vegetable garden slowly wakes up.
Winter vegetable harvests continue and some early sowing is possible in regions with mild winters.
- Fertilize : Bring compost or manure to future crop beds if not done in the fall. Leave them on the surface, it is still too cold to incorporate them into the soil (and it is not necessarily necessary).
- Green manure: Destroy the green manure beds that will be put into cultivation a few weeks later.
- Mulching: Remove winter mulch to warm the soil in anticipation of the first outdoor sowings.
- Begin to germinate the potatoes that will be planted in April.
- Order, test and sort the seeds for future planting.
In February it is often cold. Do not hesitate to postpone the date of your sowing or planting if the temperatures are too low. Under greenhouse you can cover them with an extra forcing veil to keep more heat.
When sowing and planting under cover, watch out for slugs and melting seedlings. The latter often appears in poorly ventilated greenhouses.
The first sowings of legumes and spinach are possible in the second half of the month. Choose an area well exposed to the sun. The use of a forcing fleece at the beginning of the crop can help you.
- Spinach: In mild climate sow spring spinach. Elsewhere do it in a greenhouse or wait until March.
- Broad beans
- Peas: Choose varieties with smooth grains, more resistant to cold.
Sowing in a greenhouse or tunnel
In the second fortnight, sow “early” vegetables. They will be harvested young in Spring. To be reserved for regions with a mild climate.
- Carrots : Use early varieties often short or half-long (example: Paris market). They will be harvested from April onwards.
- Spinach : Spring varieties
- Turnips: Varieties “to be forced”, the best known is the pink turnip variety “de Milan”. Harvest them in April, do not wait too long they become less good.
- Radishes : Here too, choose fast growing varieties called “short day” varieties. The harvest will be in March.
- Potatoes: Plant early potatoes in greenhouses or tunnels. Cover with a second layer to keep more heat.
Sowing in a heated greenhouse or in the house
The first sowing of fruit vegetables can begin. At this time of year it may be necessary to start growing indoors with the help of a lamp and/or a mini greenhouse. Natural light will probably be insufficient at this time.
To germinate these vegetables require a temperature of at least 20°C. If you are not equipped, wait until March or April to do so in an unheated greenhouse.
- Peppers : Of rather slow growth, peppers and chili peppers to be planted in May can begin to be sown.
- Tomatoes : The first tomatoes that will be planted in greenhouses in April. If you want to plant them later, there is no hurry, wait until March to sow.
What to sow in the vegetable garden this month? When to plant radishes? When to harvest them? We present you about ten fruits and vegetables and plan to plant in this month of February.
Are you lazy or very busy? Opt for vegetables that require little maintenance. Do you decimate any plant you approach? Adopt those that need neither water nor light!