February in Review

Our high hopes for February expressed last month were not included in Mother Nature’s plans.  Out of 28 days, there were only 7 with any sunshine.  Temperatures remained so cold that schools were cancelled some days.  Some days were snowy (but not enough to provide insulation for plants) or filled with 60 mph winds, or both.  There was hail and  even thunderstorms.  For the first time since I’ve lived here (26 years) there were no crocus blooms in February.  Thankfully, the amaryllis’ showy blooms helped provide balm for my soul.   Amaryllis end Feb  There are still three pots in the basement, just beginning to show growth that were purposely started much later to provide that same balm in March.

February seedings were done on schedule, with 55 varieties planted to date.  Germination has been excellent this year.  Transplanting is normal, ending the month at 840 babies in their own little pots.  The forecast is for temperatures to continue to be in the 20’s F for highs and the teens at night, so plants can’t be moved into the greenhouse despite the purchase of a new, improved heater this month.  I’ll need to do some testing with said heater so I’ll know how well it performs before even contemplating moving my precious pots.  So, I’m slowly filling the basement areas and crossing fingers and toes that March will take a turn for the better.  Those seedlings that have been transplanted are looking good. (Knock wood!)

The poly tunnel survived the extreme winds just fine, and the harvesting of spinach continues, with another half pound entered into the 2019 Harvest Journal.  That’s not much, but it’s a first and better than nothing besides adding a bright spot to our menu.  On the pantry front, the oregano and sage jars are now empty, and the last of the acorn and “Carnival” winter squashes were eaten.  There is still a basket of Butterscotch, which are holding nicely.  There’s lots of garlic, onions, a few potatoes, and we’ve barely made a dent in the frozen or canned goods.  The “test” New Kuroda carrot remains beautiful in the refrigerator, which bodes really well for next winter’s storage plans.Potager February  Sadly, there was barely any outdoor work accomplished due to the weather.  If you look closely at this month’s potager portrait, you may notice that some trimming and tidying has been done.  In studying the photo, I see that all the mulch has washed away just inside the left-hand gate.  The black landscape cloth is totally exposed.  And, although the plastic on the little poly tunnel is actually clear, it certainly appears white in the photo!  In the potager’s exterior border (not shown) tiny crocus tips have been joined recently here and there by 1/2″ daffodil tips.  Last year the chives were 3″ tall by mid-month, but they are wisely still below ground.  I did sprinkle a few poppy and larkspur seeds directly into the Cutting Garden and nigella, poppy and lettuce seeds into the potager’s interior borders as I always do in February, but two weeks later than usual.  I’m pretty confident that there will be enough freezing/thawing in the next few weeks to germinate them properly.

That’s the review for February here in north central Indiana.  Could have been lots better; could have been lots worse!  All of you could probably tell just exactly how antsy and thwarted I’ve felt by the excessive number of posts this month, a new high!  Hopefully I’ll soon be too busy outdoors to compose posts.  Wouldn’t it be exciting if there’s viewable progress next month?  So, Welcome March!  Fingers crossed the next monthly review will be more interesting!

About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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16 Responses to February in Review

  1. bcparkison says:

    On a seesaw here. More rain than we really need and temps back and forth. Cold coming in a couple of night this next week and the figs are trying to bud out leaves….not good. I had very few fruit from the figs last year for the same reason.
    But…your Amaryllis is beautiful.

    Like

  2. Very wintry here in central Wisconsin. We’ve had over 50 inches of snow in February! Very cold temps. Spring seems a long ways off and yet tomorrow is March 1st!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a winter you have had! Amazing you got any spinach at all. In Maine, March is THE worst month—damp, ugly, muddy with at least one doozy of a snowstorm that knocks out the power. Builds character, right? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • carolee says:

      March can be ugly here as well. We often have at least one significant snow, but some years it is surprisingly pleasant. I’d just like to see a crocus or two, but they will come when they are good and ready. Keep telling myself I should really try to enjoy these calm days. The hectic days of spring clean-up and planting will make me wish for a quiet day. I should be lifting weights in preparation!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jo Shafer says:

      Oh, I don’t know about the character part. But, you’re right about an ugly March. After a full winter’s worth of snow dumped on us in three weeks, March will remain like February at least for the next week or so. A sudden meltdown will be disastrous.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Jo Shafer says:

    At least all your snow (or most of it, anyway) is gone. Not here. Still buried under a foot of snow although the sun is out bright today. Well, first day of March is tomorrow. Whoopee! (maybe)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It has been a hard month for getting anything done outside here in the midwest. I am about the same as you here in central Ohio.
    Thank you Carolee for the mention of sowing the annual seeds. I never knew you could sprinkle them out this early. As soon as it warms a bit, I will rake the ground in my raised bed that the deer trampled, and sow some of these seeds. It sounds like it would make a lovely mixture for cutting. I really appreciate this advice as I get very poor light in my house making it difficult to start many seeds indoors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • carolee says:

      Works great for me, so hope it works as well for you. Isn’t space always a problem this time of year? It’s only 4 degrees today, so guess those sleeping crocuses know what they are doing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I not only have a space problem, but a light problem. I’ve never enjoyed growing things from seeds for these reasons. But last year, I had some success, which encourages me to try again.
        It’s up to 20 degrees here, which sounds like a heat wave compared to what you have. I haven’t seen any crocus here, but the snowdrops are up with droopy heads, and the daffodils and tulips are up a few inches. There is hope.

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      • carolee says:

        After the cold snap and more snow, it’s to be in the 40’s week after this, so in addition to winds and storms, lots of greening should take place. Meantime, I’m reading when I should be cleaning closets or doing something else productive that once I’m busy in the gardens will wish I’d done!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jo Shafer says:

      The same in my house. And window sills are rather narrow for holding seed trays or even ice trays.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jo Shafer says:

    Carolee, put on some zippy Baroque music and dance right into your afternoon chores! Then reading with a cuppa tea and a kitty in your lap is a lovely reward!

    Liked by 1 person

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