Edible Garden Ideas and Tips for February
There is so much goodness in edibles gardens right now. February is such a bountiful month.
In my Wānaka garden, I have green beans, tomatoes, basil and zucchini in wonderful supply. Cucumbers are hanging like green jewels in the glasshouse and my thornless blackberries have ripened early along the fenceline.
This week, I have been planting my leek seedlings, a little later than usual. The key for leeks, especially if you live in a cool mountain climate like me, is to make the most of the growth time left before the soil gets cold. If you love leeks, pop them in. They are so handy to cook in winter and super easy to grow.
Keep an eye on Insta for our tips on how to grow leeks.
In this issue:
- Keep on planting for late autumn harvest
- Start sowing for winter
- Dig, don’t pull, the garlic
- Zucchini/courgette, ideas on dealing with the masses
Edible Garden ideas on what to sow this month
Now is the perfect time to start thinking about sowing either in trays or garden pots (or whatever you have at home) winter greens such as broccoli, kale, cabbage and cauliflower. Sowing directly into the soil in a sunny spot is another option. If possible, plant the brassicas in a different spot from last year. If you live in a cooler climate, you can plant these as seedlings to make the best use of the growing time left before the cold sets in.
Edible Garden ideas on what to plant this month for late Autumn harvesting
Keep planting the salad greens, rocket and even coriander, but keep them in the shade, under taller plants. I am planting some spinach and chards this week, and crossing my fingers that they don’t go to seed as we have had an incredibly hot summer.
Dig, don’t pull, the garlic
If you haven’t yet dug up your underground gems, then now is a good time.
“Pulling the garlic” is an old saying. If you actually do this, you are likely to end up with the foliage in your hand and not much else. Grab a spade or a trowel, leave enough space to avoid hitting the bulbs and dig them up. It’s super exciting seeing what has been created under the soil in the six months since you planted the cloves.
Shake off the excess dirt, let then dry out for a day or two, and then tie or plait the foliage together and hang them up somewhere dry. It’s a wonderful feeling being able to use the garlic you have grown yourself.
Does it feel as though these gorgeous vegetables are everywhere you look and all ready at the same time? The beauty of this delectable vegetable is it can be used in so many ways. It is one of the most versatile veggies we can grow in late summer. The options are endless.
- Chargrill on the BBQ and add to a salad, or serve as is
- Blanch and add to a salad
- Add raw to a smoothie (wash well first)
- Grate and add (hide) in many dishes
- Bake a zucchini slice
- Slice and freeze (raw or blanched) for future use
- Make into noodles and swap out the pasta
- Stuff the flower
- Stuff and bake, especially those bad-boy big ones that get a bit watery when cooked other ways
February is a special month with edible gardens having so much to give. Share the harvest love if you find yourself with more than you need. Give to friends, neighbours and local community organisations that will share produce with those in need, and enjoy the feeling that giving creates.
Until next month …
Sneak peek: In March there are wonderful things to look forward to, including passionfruit, peaches, espalier apples and an autumn flourish of raspberries.