February 2020: Monthly review

It’s been a gloomy month.

Overall, February was a wet, gloomy month. The gardens showed very little change. When it wasn’t snowing, it was raining. Of 29 days, the sun shown on Ground Hog Day (of course) and three others (when the ground was snow-covered.) Temps ranged from single digits at night to a high of 54. Without sunshine and warmth, there was very little growth. In past years, there have often been lots of flowers, chives to use, and some gardening underway. Not 2020!

These crocus haven’t grown at all this month. Hopefully that will change soon.

What’s a gardener to do besides dream and plan? A tad of retail therapy helps a bit. The abundance of wet days reminded me that my beloved garden shoes were no longer waterproof, so here are the replacements! Orange flowers! Could anything be more perfect for me? I’ve already been wearing them when I’m watering, filling flats, or seeding in the basement.

These Sloggers will keep my socks dry!

The Bluebird wholesale catalog tempted me to order some replacement perennials, especially after a walk-about that showed several “old reliables” have perished during this wet winter. I’m already planning to dig some drainage ditches to divert water away from some of the worst areas, and adding a couple of water barrels, which should help with that problem. These will be small plants, but hopefully they will be part of the plan to covert some of the area now used for annuals into perennials. (Yarrow, tritoma, primulas, orange coneflowers, white tall phlox)

The February seeding schedule was completed, with a total of 49 varieties sown. Everything has germinated nicely except some very old parsley seed and the alchemilla. There’s going to be an abundance of onions this year, if they don’t rot like last year, since every seed germinated. Surprisingly, the transplanting has not even begun. Last year, 500 babies were in individual pots by month’s end. I need to get motivated, but I think the memories of the terribly late, wet spring last year have encouraged me to not push things.

The February harvest was minimal, just a half pound of spinach from the poly-tunnel, because it too is not motivated to grow. So, the 2020 total to date is a meager 1.75 lbs. Thankfully, there’s still an abundance of food in the freezer and pantry shelves.

And, thankfully there has been a lot of good reading (I finished all the Jacqueline Winspear books plus several others, but none garden-related, which is strange for me.) and good basketball games (although most of my favorite teams aren’t doing well.) That’s the non-exciting report for February. Hopefully the March report will prove better, and that there are flowers blooming in your garden, wherever you are!

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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