Timeless Garden Tips for Early February


“Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle … a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl.  And the anticipation nurtures our dream.”
–  Barbara Winkler

Cool weather cropsWarm Region Vegetable Garden Tips: Zones 9-10

In the warmest regions plant in the garden both cool- and warm-season vegetables and herbs. Plant in February asparagus, beets, beans, cabbage, carrots, kale, lettuce, onions, onion sets, parsley, parsnip, peas, potatoes, radishes, and salsify. Casaba, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, okra, pumpkin, squash and tomatoes. Zones 9 and 10 in the United States include the Gulf and South Atlantic Coasts and the Pacific Southwest and Desert states and California Coast from the Bay Area south. Continue reading >>>


Seed sowing in drillsCool Region Vegetable Garden Tips: Zone 8

Prepare your garden soil for planting by spading when the ground is not wet. Complete your orders for seeds and supplies as soon as possible. When the weather begins to warm and nighttime temperatures no longer dip into the 30sF, plant outdoors early vegetables: beets, cabbage (plants), carrots, cauliflower (plants), chard, lettuce, mustard, onions (sets or plants), peas, potatoes, salsify, spinach, and turnips. You can start tomato, pepper, and eggplant seeds indoors in February. It will take 7 to 8 weeks to grow plants large enough to transplant to the garden. Zone 8 in the United States includes Mid-South and Pacific Northwest states. Continue reading>>>


Hothouse plasticCold Region Vegetable Garden Tips: Zones 4,5,6,7

Begin sowing cool-season vegetables and herbs indoors in flats and jiffy pots during February for transplanting into the garden when the snow has melted. Cool season vegetables include: cabbage, cauliflower, celery, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. Also in February, most fruits, including pears, plums, apples, and bush fruits such as gooseberries and currants should be pruned on any except a very cold day. Zones 4,5,6, and 7 in the United States include the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and the Rocky Mountain and Plains states. Continue reading>>>


Vegetable PatchBest Cool-Season Vegetable Varieties for Spring Planting

Here’s a list of proven cool-weather vegetable crop varieties to plant this spring. Print this list and take it to the garden center or seed store. If you want planting tips for any of these crops, check out the Topics Index under the crop name. Continue reading>>>


Raised Beds BackyardHow to Start a Vegetable Garden for Beginners

The secret to getting started vegetable gardening is to take a little time to make a plan. Take a look at your yard or patio or front stoop, think about what you’d like to grow, make a list of the veggies you like to eat, talk to the staff at a local nursery or garden center, and talk to friends and neighbors with experience. Continue reading >>>


Garlic sproutsEarly Planting Onions and Garlic

Plant sets of garlic, onions, and shallots early in spring to get large bulbs at harvest. Start indoors garlic, onions and shallots where snow or too much rain keeps you out of the garden early in the season.Garlic, onion, and shallot transplants started indoors are the quickest way to produce a crop. Continue reading>>>


Seed StartsStarting the Spring Vegetable Garden Indoors

Snow on the ground. Heavy winter rain in the garden. Last average frost date weeks away. No problem. You can start the spring vegetable garden indoors. If you know the average date of the last spring frost in your garden or region, you can simply count backwards the number of weeks needed to begin starting seeds indoors. Here’s exactly what you need to know to get started. Continue reading>>>


Stew beef and vegetablesBeef and Winter Vegetables Slow Cooked

Here’s the recipe for a hearty and tasty winter vegetable-loaded beef stew for the slow cooker. You can vary the root vegetables in this stew—choose from carrots, turnips, parsnips, new potatoes, onions, or leeks and add mushrooms or celery. The combinations are many. Continue reading >>>


Leeks fresh slicedLeeks: Kitchen Basics

The most esteemed member of the onion family is the leek. The flavor and fragrance of leeks are more subtle, more delicate and sweeter than onions. The leek is essential to many fine dishes—the popular cold soup vichyssoise—which has been made in France for centuries, the Scottish cock-a-leekie, and stews such as the French pot-au-feu. You can find leeks at the farm market year round, but their peak season is October through May. Continue reading >>>


Carrots Moroccan styleCarrots: Kitchen Basics

Tiny carrots steamed whole in butter; young carrots glazed in honey syrup; half-grown carrots served fresh from the garden: carrots need not be taken for granted. The key to serving the best, tasty carrots are freshly harvested carrots not too small and not too large. Continue reading>>>



Tomato ripening off vineSummer’s End in the Southern Hemisphere

February is late summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Autumn will come officially to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile on March 21. Harvesting is in full swing in the February summer garden. Lift onions and dry them in the sun before storing. Continue to pick beans, courgettes, squash, and tomatoes as they ripen. Harvest these as they ripen and less mature crops still on the vine will ripen more quickly. Continue reading>>>

SoilOld-Time Garden Wisdom

What gets bigger the more you take away?

A hole.