We’re finally through January and thank goodness for that, though it was a relatively mild one this year, the ‘monday of months’ is often particularly difficult since we’re trying to increase our productivity after the Christmas break despite long nights and dim days.
However, February is here and we can now, in earnest, start to look towards the spring with hope and excitement. That’s why today’s article concerns which plants you should be sowing in February to stock up your pantry later on in the year.
Although we’ve now moved a month closer to the highs of summer, we still have plenty of time to seed crops first, which makes February a fantastic month to plant fruits and vegetables.
Since we recently posted a piece on starting on your own greenhouse, the focus this week is on plants best suited to starting life indoors, how to establish them successfully and how to care for them once they’ve germinated.
Fruit & Veg
Two staples for summer salads that can both be sown into soil this month and both require some shelter in the warmth of a greenhouse to get started.
You’ll want to sow cucumber seeds on their sides about half an inch deep, provide each seed with a separate pot until they can germinate and put down roots and then replant them in late March.
Tomato seeds are similar in their needs, sharing cucumber’s preference for moist soil that is topped up little and often, temperatures ranging from 18°C to 21°C (which you may need a greenhouse heater to maintain), and rich compost to grow in.
After 7-10 days move your tomato seedlings into direct sunlight to give them a boost, water regularly, and after a few weeks the plants can be moved into outdoor pots or hanging baskets.
Any cook will tell you the value of having fresh herbs available and with a little preplanning in February, you can turn your greenhouse into a fragrant jungle overflowing with varieties like Basil, Dill, and Parsley.
Basil, like tomatoes, enjoys plenty of heat and a fair amount of water so if you’re planning on growing both then you have excellent reason to invest in a greenhouse heater as well as to water the floor of your greenhouse regularly to ensure a high level of humidity in the air.
Avoid any inorganic fertillisers with these edibles and ensure soil is moist but well-drained. Each seed should be planted about half an inch deep with a good 10-12 inches between seeds.
Dill and Parsley actually come from the same plant family and have a few things in common as a result. They both like plenty of space when their seeds are first sown (6-10 inches apart for Parsley and double that for Dill), as well as moist, rich soil and full sunlight.
Both herbs are fairly delicate in structure so if you plan to move them out of your greenhouse, make sure that they have adequate protection from the elements.
We hope this piece has inspired you to get into the greenhouse early this year in order to set yourself up for success, and delicious, home-grown ingredients later on.