How to Grow Your Own Food: Prepping in February & March
It is so fun to grow your own food. We have just gotten started with the new season of edibles. We’re getting a bit of a head start while winter is on its way out.
I have a box of seeds that are sectioned off by the months they’re meant to be planted in. I’m going to start preparing the seeds for February and March. These usually have to be kept warm because we're still prone to frosts for a couple of months, but it's nice to have an early start.
So first of all, we're going to get a few seeds planted and put them in the house. We've only got one greenhouse and we don't have loads of room. We're going to store a few of the edibles around the house until it gets a bit warmer outside.
I put early cauliflowers in a propagator in a bedroom and that will keep the seeds nice and warm and give them a kickstart. These will probably be planted in early April.
In the office, I've got our first and some of our second early potatoes. I’m keeping them here exposed to a bit of light so we can get some sprouts going. We should be looking at planting those again in the beginning of April.
You don't have to buy seedling potatoes. You can just use sprouted potatoes from the bags of potatoes you get from the supermarket. They will grow.
We're just trying a couple of different varieties to see which grow the best in our soil. We've got quite clear soil. It really holds the water, so it's trial and error to see which potatoes are the best.
If you are thinking about growing the humble potato this year and it's your first attempt, do so, you don't need land. You don't need acres of garden. You can actually grow potatoes in buckets outside.
Top them up with soil and make sure they've got a space that's watered. They also need good drainage and a little sunlight, but not direct light. They're straightforward to grow.
Usually, when people start growing potatoes, it becomes their favorite thing because there's nothing as buttery and tasty as freshly grown potatoes.
These are the plants we've popped in the greenhouse for today. This is our first round of seedlings. We have some spring onions. I like to grow them in a little trough and cut and come again as they grow. As they grow I cut the tops off and use them.
I've got a few peas. It might be a little bit early for the peas, but we're giving it a try. I've also had some perpetual spinach growing. We've just planted most of the seeds today, so there’s not a lot to look at yet. I have some Swiss chard and a few planters with hardy broad beans, to see how those will do.
I'm going to move all the planted seeds up to the table. I’m putting them on top of some fleece to give them a bit of extra warmth. This is fleece recycled from a vegetable delivery. It's used wool wrapped under a delivery we received recently. We thought it was just too good to throw away.
We use the fleece for these seedlings in February, March, and April when we still have to worry about frost. It just gives the seeds that extra layer of protection.
It's the ground that gets cold and the cold travels up. It's a bit like if you sat on a cold concrete floor compared to if you sat on a cushion on cold concrete.
On the cushion, you get a certain level of protection from the cold. So that's what we’re trying to do with the little seedlings.
You can buy a thinner garden fleece, or you can even make your own. Put fleece inside carrier bags and just make sure that the carrier bags have got a few little pin-prick air holes in for the wool to breathe and dry out. It's a good way just to give a bit of extra warmth to the bottom of your seedlings.
You can always get a greenhouse heater. We haven't got one yet. We're considering it, but we're just going to see how we do using the good old-fashioned way. We’re insulating the bottom of the seedlings and watching the weather. We’re making sure everything's covered up and snug in case of frost.
These are some sprouting garlics we had that were sprouting in the fridge a couple of weeks ago. David separated the cloves and planted them all. We won't use them for growing full garlic. We just chop the leaves off and use it like spring onions or scallions. We put them on salads and sandwiches. They really pack a tasty punch.
Now we're in the middle of winter and spring can sometimes feel far away. But these plants know the sun shine’s just around the corner.
We've got our first crocuses and snowdrops and of course, the daffodils are coming in too. You know spring is coming soon when the daffodils start peeking out to say hello. Even the rhubarbs are waking up.
I’ll be doing some serious gardening this week. I’ll be pruning, getting rid of all the twigs and leaves the autumn and winter have brought. I’ve got this lovely big holly bush. There’s something very magical about wood from a holly bush. They say it’s used for making wizards’ wands.
How to grow your own food
It’s so gratifying to grow your own veggies. I hope you got some inspiration for your garden or greenhouse. Leave me a comment and tell me about your gardening experiences. Wherever you are in the world, please have a lovely day