Gardening tasks and tips for February
Are you ready to get gardening? Now is the time to prepare your kitchen gardening season, to plan your lot and to get your hands dirty!
Yes, you've read right. We can finally get some of the seeds out and start them indoors. It's easier than you think and even more rewarding than growing from store-bought seedlings. And the best thing is, you don't need much to get started. Our seed starting tips will help you to grow your own from seed (see picture).
In February, we in Eastern Ontario with the last frost date around mid May and the first at the end of September, start our first seeds. The first seeds are plants, that have a long growing season, which means they take a long time from seed to harvest. These are fruiting plants like peppers or eggplants. There are also plants that have a long germination time and that grow slowly, like thyme, lavender or rosemary as well as celery and celeriac. Plants of the onion family should be started now as well to make sure the seedlings are big enough come mid/end of April to transplant them.
Once your seedlings emerge you need to make sure to provide enough light and water regularly (not too much though!!). Keep the soil moist but not soggy and make sure no fungi grow. If you have issues with too much moisture and high humidity, place fans near your seedlings to keep the air circulation going and set up a dehumidifier.
Besides that, seed starting equipment can be very basic. We reuse yogurt containers, cups and other containers year after year. Drill or cut drainage holes in the bottom and put them on a tray, so you won't have water damage on your shelf.
Choose a good seed starting soil, get wooden labels and you are well set. One essential expense you should plan on are grow lights. They don't need to be expensive. These are some growing lights we have great success with: Gooseneck Plant Light with Clip (Amazon)
Are you ready to grow your own vegetables, herbs and fruit this year or are you still wondering about where and how to start you kitchen garden?
Choosing the right location for your kitchen garden can be challenging. But if you follow some essential criteria, you will find it more easy. If you start your kitchen garden from scratch, search for the location with the most sun (8+hrs/day), access to water and easy accessibility. Your kitchen garden should be close to your home, so you can literally jump out of your kitchen to fetch some herbs and lettuce for dinner. Besides, we want to see our beautiful garden and tend to it as often as possible. If the kitchen garden is in the very last corner of our yard, chances are high we are going to neglect it.
Take your time with finding the ideal spot. Observe your yard for a couple of months, make notes about the sun/shade situation and how it changes during the course of the year. Don't rush with this decision, because the right location is the basis for your gardening success.