Annual Garden Calendar
My husband loves beetroot, and as they’re relatively easy to grow they are a staple in my garden over summer. This year I’ve already harvested and preserved one crop, and have sown my next! Here’s my simple recipe for preserving beetroot.
6 average sized beetroot 1 C water
½ C white vinegar ½ C Sugar
Wash beetroot thoroughly and trim off leaves at top, leaving about 2 cm of stalks remaining. Boil these submerged in water for about 25 minutes, or until tender.
Cool and remove skin (either by hand or use a knife). I love doing this by hand, the bright flesh under the skin is so soft, it’s quite therapeutic.
Cut beetroot into slices or strips.
Place all other ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Simmer beetroot in this mix for 5 minutes and then strain.
Pack beetroot into hot sterilised jars and top up with vinegar mixture. Seal and store in a cool place.
February is a great time in the garden as it’s so productive. It’s one of the main harvest times for your summer crops. This is the month we really reap the benefits of all our labour!
February Planting & Sowing
Keep planting late summer seedlings of lettuce and fresh herbs. As the mornings and evenings are a wee bit cooler towards the end of February there’s not as much risk of your seedlings bolting in the heat. Bok choy and tatsoi are two fun to grow green leafy vegetables that will thrive when planted at this time of year.
Seeds you can sow
Beans, bok choy, beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, celery, florence fennel, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mesclun, parsley, tatsoi, onions, radish, silverbeet, rocket. (As a general rule, allow eight weeks to seedling stage).
Seedlings you can plant
Beans, beetroot, leeks, lettuce, mesclun, spring onions, spinach.
February 'can do' Garden Tasks
Remember to keep your beds well-watered, and a handful of general fertilizer around the base of your plants is a good idea to keep feed levels up for your cropping plants.
It’s a good idea to continue mulching around your fruit trees, as they benefit from the extra moisture contained near their roots.
When clearing any part of your garden beds of summer plantings, apply manure or compost to fertilize your soil to prepare for your autumn crops before you plant them.
We’ve got an abundance of tomatoes, cucumber and zucchini in our garden this month, and even our capsicum are beautiful and colourful this year. The chilli plants are really abundant too. If you pick your beans, cucumber and zucchini regularly you’ll encourage them to continue fruiting.
Plenty of fruit crops are ripening this month too. Plan ahead to preserve some of your fruitful bounty!