Jobs for February

Tommy toes
  • What to plant: In the tropics plant basil, corn, sweet potato. In the frost free subtropics, plant beans, tomato, tomatillo, cucumber, chilli, zucchini, pumpkin, eggplant and spring onions. In frost-prone areas, sow broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Asian greens, kale, lettuce, beetroot, silverbeet, carrot, parsnip, radish, celery, and leek.

  • What to harvest: Late stonefruit, mid season apples and pears, summer berries, figs, almonds, grapes, beans, tomato, chilli, capsicum, corn, potatoes, cucumber, lettuce, zucchini.

  • In areas affected by ex Tropical Cyclone Oswald, keep an eye out for pest explosions. Fruit fly in particular is likely to breed prolifically this month. Set certified organic baits and protect vulnerable fruit with netting or exclusion bags.

  • Heavy rain leaches the soil of nutrients. Restore fertility by adding organic pelletised chook manure, well rotted stable manure, or blood and bone. Get compost into the soil once it's dry enough to work, and use liquid seaweed when hand watering.

  • When harvesting potatoes make the tubers are completely dry before placing into storage. A day or two laid out in the sun will do the job, but don't leave them any longer - they may turn green and become poisonous. Once dry, store the spuds in a cool, dark shed in hessian sacks, or better still, vegetable crates. These promote airflow around the tubers and protect them from rodents.

  • Mould can be toxic to chooks. Avoid feeding them rotting food scraps and take care with the material used to create litter on the floor of chicken runs. Use dry hay or straw, rather than silage or sugarcane, which can become excessively mouldy during wet spells.

  • Give citrus trees a late summer boost. Apply a combination of liquid seaweed and fish emulsion around the rootzone, top up the mulch, and give the foliage a spray with horticultural oil to help prevent citrus leaf miner.

  • Onions are sensitive to day length. At this time of the year (in areas from Toowoomba to Tassie) you'll get the best results by growing "short day" varieties such as Barletta. These form bulbs as days get shorter before the winter solstice. Long-day varieties such as Creamgold are the opposite, forming bulbs in the lead up to the summer solstice.

By: Justin Russell

First published: January 2018

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Organic Gardening, Gardening Basics, Garden Tasks, In Season, Garden Harvesting, All Gardens, Summer, GROW, What to do now
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