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Gardening jobs in the February vegetable garden

03rd February 2021

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Jo Jo Yee shares the gardening jobs that she’ll be getting done in her vegetable garden during February

February is an exciting time of year, when the activity really starts to kick-off for the growing season ahead.

Now’s the time to chit seed potatoes and the simplest way is to place tubers into egg boxes and leave them on the window sill. I also like to propagate plants from shop bought watercress, mint and Thai basil. The stems are stripped down to a few leaves then placed into a glass of water where roots will slowly emerge. Lemongrass can also be propagated this way but I usually only get a 50 per cent success rate!

In the greenhouse, I will sow tomatoes and cucumbers. I like ‘Tigerella’ as it is one of the earliest greenhouse tomatoes to crop and ‘Sungold’, not just for its superb flavour but also because, with careful management, they can provide an autumn crop up until the third week of November.

Last year, my outdoor crops were obliterated by blight so I may not grow any outside this year. I will also start trays of rocket, lettuce, mizuna and tatsoi for cut-and-come-again spicy salad leaves. Some of the tatsoi will be planted out to be harvested as whole heads in spring. Outside, under the protection of cloches, I’ll start to sow some beetroot, carrots and spinach.

February 12th also marks the beginning of Chinese new year with the year of the ox. The festival will last for 15 days and it is customary to have a family reunion dinner on the eve. I will be harvesting greens like pak choi, Chinese cabbage, Chinese broccoli (Kai Lan) and garland chrysanthemum (Tong Ho) from the plot.

The vegetables will be cooked with dried shiitake mushrooms, lily buds and beancurd in a traditional vegetarian stew called Buddha’s delight. The Chinese celery ‘Kin Tsai’ has been harvested as a cut-and-come- again crop all winter and it too will be finely diced into “longevity” noodles as a symbol of long life. Here’s to a year of good health and happiness to all!

Stay up to date with Jo Jo’s garden by visiting her gardening blog

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