Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What Vegetables to Plant In February In South Africa's Summer Rainfall Region

Available on Amazon

My family is so enjoying the morning glories that self-planted in the stone floor outside the kitchen.

Each morning someone comments about how beautiful they are, and what a marvel the plant is for growing in such an inhospitable area.

I think this is what adds to the joy of gardening - not the pretty/useful things that you already expect, but the unexpected flourishes that nature adds.

It's been raining very steadily the past couple of weeks, so the gardens are lush ( and of course the weeds too, LOL) and I feel in a better position to do more planting for this month.

What to plant in February

This month we're planting beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, onion, potatoes, spring onions, shallots, sunflowers, swiss chard, chives, coriander, dill, french terragon, oregano and parsely.

I also want to plant brussel sprouts,celeriac, chinese cabbage, celery, collards, garlic, artichokes, leeks, mustard greensparsnip, radish and turnips, though at this stage I don't have seeds for them.

Rocket, basil and spinach are self-planting very heavily and I'm very happy with them. For now, we have enough space to accomodate the rocket, though they will bear watching. Those things grow like weeds.

We also planted seeds for varieties of peach, nectarines, plums and mangoes in the garden. Hopefully they will do well in the coming years while I save money to buy small dward trees.

What's growing in the garden

The seeds we planted in January are also doing very well. The potatoes have finally germinated and we'll soon add another layer of soil to grow the tower.

The beans finally germinated and have taken over a large chunk of the garden space. The onions are not doing so well .. we have a few here and there coming out of teh soil, but we need to grow them more aggresively.

We are transplanting a lot of tomato, cabbage and spinach  from the previous plantings. The beetroot and carrot seedlings are also doing well, though we need a lot more of them.

The green peppers are odd - the seedlings are no larger than my hand, but they are already fruiting. I bought them as seedlings, so I really didn't know what to expect. We'll see how this  goes.

The cucumber bushes are also doing well. One of two bushes have started fruiting. The pumpkin, squash, watermelon and butternut are also fruiting. A few of them got damaged though (by the strong rain I think), so I'm trying to figure out how to protect the food as much as possible.

We're harvesting a lot of spinach, chilli, carrots, beetroot, spring onion, pumpkin, watermelon, parsely, basil, thyme,rosemary, sage, chives, nasturtiums, green beans, zucchini and a bit of tomatoes and corn (maize).  It's not enough to feed us everyday, but each meal has plenty of ingredients  from the garden.

Learning more

I asked my friend Trish, who I met at Simple Living Forums, for some gardening books recommendations and she suggested I read James Wong and Alice Fowler.

I already loved James Wong's Grow Your Own Drugs, so I am inclined to buy one of his books. Maybe his Gardening Revolution. The only problem is that he talks about exotic veggies, and I need my basics still, and my family is not very adventurous when it comes to food. So we'll see how much I can push that.

Alice Fowler's work was much easier, more accessible, so  yesterday I spent a lot of time on Amazon looking through her books and ended up buying The Edible Garden: How To Have Your Garden And Eat It and the Thrifty Gardener

Ideally, I would have bought hard copies, but in the end I went with the ebooks before the print copy costs were too high for me.

Essentially, I would have paid around $29 for the books and around $38 for postage. That just looked skewed to me.

And honestly, $38  is a lot of money to me. So I'll make do with the ebook and will print what pages I need to study closely when I need them.

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