Tips for your Garden in February
as recommended by Charla Anthony
February gardens and landscapes are showing the effects of recent sub-freezing weather. Plant damage may vary depending on garden location and exposure as well as soil moisture at the time of the freeze. Perhaps harvesting is slowed now to only some leafy greens or carrots, but many edibles will recover and still produce. Continue to keep a close eye on weather predications and be ready to protect plants in the event of a late winter freeze. Here are a few garden activities for this month.
Sow seeds of beets, carrots, kale, lettuce, mustard greens, peas, spinach and turnips. Start tomatoes and peppers from seed indoors. Also, it’s time for small plants of artichokes, asparagus crowns, Asian greens, broccoli, cabbage, chard, collards, lettuce, mustard greens, onion sets, potatoes and shallot bulbs to be planted. Herbs to plant are chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, parsley, oregano, rosemary and thyme. Plant fruit trees.
Harvest arugula, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, greens, lettuces, spinach, Swiss chard and turnips.
Spinach is a versatile, easily grown cool season vegetable. The tricky part is getting the seeds to start. Usually direct seeded into the garden, they will not germinate properly if the soil is too warm. So, February is usually just right to plant seeds in Texas. Spinach can grow in light shade, which makes it a nice vegetable to plant into existing landscaped beds. Tucked along the edges, leaves can be snipped and used as needed.
Plant: Jan. 5–Feb. 20; Sept. 5-Oct. 25
Light: full sun to partial shade
Water: average and is intolerant of soggy soil
Fertilization: pre-planting or 2 weeks after thinning plants
Popeye – if that word brings to mind spinach and a feisty sailor, with a pipe in his mouth, then you were born in a certain decade. This cartoon character gained enormous strength from eating spinach, right out of a can. If that does not sound good, most children of the 1950-60’s would agree. For years, spinach was served in school cafeterias. It was not the spinach of today, that is freshly tossed into salads, soups and quiche. No, it was boiled to death and greyish green. That sailor was a ploy to get children to eat something that was good for them, but few of them liked.
Thankfully, culinary wizards introduced new and improved ways to enjoy, this tasty and nutritious green vegetable. Loaded with iron, it actually can make your stronger.
Charla Anthony is the Brazos County horticulturist at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in Bryan, Texas. Find local gardening information at brazosmg.com. Gardening question? Call 979-823-0129 or email firstname.lastname@example.org