The main goal of this column is to help get our community in touch with the movement of the seasons by observing nature (wild and in the garden), sharing seeding dates, information and experience as well as exploring the diverse 12 month harvest potential of our temperate climate. I hope to help you maximize your garden space and inspire you to play in the dirt, nurture plants, share and taste real food. It is time to plan your garden by calendaring your planting dates (dedicate a wall calendar to be your planting calendar) and mapping out your beds. Also, take inventory of your seeds and create a seed wish list. Sooke’s 1st Annual Seedy Saturday takes place at SEAPARC from 10-2 on Feb 27th. This will be a great place to get ready for the gardening season; there will be a seed swap, local seed vendors, gardening information and a lot of excited gardener folk buzzing around! Mary Alice Johnson will be teaching a basic Seed Propagation workshop at the event at 11:30-12:30 (register with SEAPARC) to help people get started.
Right now is also the time to divide perennials, prune and plant fruit trees, and side dress your garlic and raspberries. We are constantly watching the weather forecast and checking the fields at this time of year waiting for the beds to dry out enough to get on the tractor and spade without damaging the soil structure, so that we can prepare the soil for the earliest direct seeded and transplanted crops.
We can direct seed broad beans, peas and early potatoes as soon as we can work the soil.
Inside a cold frame we can direct seed spinach, kale, mustards, bok choi, radish, Japanese turnips, early carrots, chervil and cilantro (herbs), and many salad greens, such as: arugula, cresses, mizuna, claytonia, mache, and orach.
In trays on bottom heat (15 C) we can start lettuces to transplant.
Important seeding windows not to miss: Tomatoes and peppers should be started Feb-March on bottom heat. Celery and celeriac should be started Feb-March on bottom heat.
Leeks and onions should be started in trays Feb-March.