February is a pivotal month on the farm. It’s a time when we get the first glimmer of Spring, though it is still right in the middle of winter. It’s a month when we have our hands on almost every type of flower we will grow throughout the year. Its fleeting days bring a little more sunshine in the evenings and the first sprouts in the soil.
This February feels a bit more sweet (and a lot more busy) than most. Our days are filled with seed shipping, sweet pea planning, book editing, dahlia dividing, and bulb watching. After a wonderfully successful seed sale, Scott and I have been busier than ever packing boxes and envelopes full of seeds for your gardens. It’s so special to see little pieces of our farm scattered across the country and it fills me with excitement to imagine all the beautiful gardens tucked into your yards.
As soon as one event ends, another one is already on the horizon. Our tuber sale is a little over a month away in March. I’m going to be honest and say it’s one of the most stressful months preparing thousands of tubers to be shipped off. This year, our tuber sale feels even more special, because we will be offering our first ever introduction. It’s something I’ve worked toward and dreamt of and am thrilled it’s almost here.
February also brings the first round of seed starting, with sweet peas tucked into their cells and other early-sow seeds on the racks. It’s the time of the year when Spring, Summer, and Fall flowers all coincide; the last of the bulbs getting snuck in, the first of the annuals sowed, and the dahlia tubers being divided. I love this time of year when you can imagine and plan your year of growing all at once.
Before the business of spring planting hits, it’s also the time to lay the garden’s foundation for the year. Topping up the soil, adding new beds, weeding out rows, and putting up the sweet pea trellises. When we get the odd sunny day like we did this weekend in the PNW, it’s all hands outside prepping for the months to come.
February Garden To-Dos:
- If you are lucky enough to have flourishing Hellebores in your garden, this is the time to enjoy them! Our hellebores and snowdrops are poking up through the ground as the first of the blooms this year.
- It’s the perfect time to map out your flower beds for the year and create a planting plan. Collect your seed packets, and make a calendar of when to start seeds. It’s also a great time to map out your dahlias, and shop for any tubers you may want to add.
- Sweet peas, snapdragons, milkweed, lupine, yarrow and poppies are all flowers that can be started under grow lights around this time of year. For specific sow times, check your seed packet and know your growing zone and last frost date.
- While you have the time, add any new garden beds you may want to build! It’s also a great time to top off existing beds with compost to prepare for spring planting.
During this busy time of year, I hope that you’re finding time to daydream about the flowers to come and are finding enjoyment in the planning process. There is something just as magical in the garden prep as there is in the harvest- having something to hope for and to look forward to.
“I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow.” —David Hobson