Because this year has started out throwing everything it can at us, it feels like the storm of activity in the gardens has already flooded in. Our February garden chores are always focused on getting set up for that burst of action. The February weather here in Georgia tends to be pretty mild with a handful of freezing nights typically but not too many. By the end of the month the spring flowers will be bursting out and spring will be knocking on the door.
This is the month to really start planting seeds in the south (tomato time!). Put those plans you made during the winter into action and start loading up those seed starting trays and cranking up your seed starting racks.
tune-up the garden
amp up the compost
Add whatever leaves you may have left over to get your compost piles setup and going now before the warm weather hits. Starting a new compost pile is great thing to have crossed off the to-do list before the busy growing season ahead.
build raised beds
It’s the perfect time to get your raised garden bed built before it’s time to fill it up with spring and summer veggies. Raised beds are a wonderful way to get a thriving garden started quickly while saving your back all year.
use a cold frame to extend the season
Cold frames are a wonderful passive way to extend your season. They can be used to prepare your seedlings for transplanting by hardening them off. Cold frames are also perfect for a nearly year-round location to grow greens. If you don’t already have one, we have you covered with a guide to build a cold frame.
get your indoor seed starting set up
Set up a seed starting area and make sure you have all of the supplies you need. Seedlings growing indoors need warmth and light. Sunlight through the windows is not usually enough. An investment in a grow light fixture to give your seedlings a head start is well worth the investment.
set out the first transplants in your garden
Towards the end of the month, start planting those transplants that you hardened off in the cold frames. A good rule of thumb is to plant lettuce, cabbage, and onions starts when the first crocus bloom. Be prepared to protect them with row covers and frost cloths if you get a late frost or two.
sow your early spring crops
By the end of February, the coldest temperatures are usually over. Sow your first crops towards the end of the month. Plant your peas, onions, asparagus, elephant garlic, radish, spinach, and lettuce seeds to get a jump start on the spring. Again, be prepared to protect the sensitive seedlings.
order and plant your perennials
Many nurseries are now selling and shipping their dormant bare-root plants, shrubs, and trees. The window isn’t open for long, so act fast to get the best selection before inventories run out. Always be ready to plant them as soon as they arrive for the healthiest transplants. We have put a focus on adding more perennials this year. Some of our additions have included blackberries, raspberries, elderberries, and asparagus. It’s a little more investment up front, but well worth it for years to come. Now is the time to plant them all.
inventory your seeds
Take one last look through your seeds to make sure you have not forgotten about anything when you planned out your crops for the year. Also, double check that you have the amount of seeds that you need. There is nothing worse than planting day rolling around only for you to realize you are a couple rows short of what you need.
cheer your houseplants up
Give your plantings some sunshine on the warmer winter days. As the length of day starts to get longer, your houseplants notice. Give them a treat by setting them outside to soak up some much needed sun, but don’t forget to bring them in before cold temperatures set in at night.
Our lemon and avocado trees that come inside during the winter are most appreciative of their outside days. Citrus blooms are starting to appear and all of the trees are aggressively growing.
February always seems to be one of those months that just flies by. It’s never easy to knock out all of the February garden chores… as usual, there will be a scramble on this homestead to get all these chores done by month’s end, but it is just the preface to what will be a very exciting and rewarding in the growing season ahead.