Monday, February 2, 2015

Container vegetable gardening plans for February 2015

So, it's time to plant a few things in the garden here in the Houston, TX area. It seems like it should be much too early for veggies, but we are in a warm planting zone (8B, maybe closer to 9A at my house since I live less than 10 miles from Galveston Bay).

My to-do list for February includes:

- Transplant blueberry bushes into their new containers, fertilize, and prune away dead branches. They got neglected during the heat of late Summer and suffered some damage. But all 4 are still alive and can be salvaged. They just need some TLC and slightly bigger pots to spread out in. I'm planting them in a different area that will get a little bit of shelter from late afternoon sunshine to see if it helps some.

- Shop for baby kohlrabi plants and get them into their containers. The home improvement centers usually have plenty of them this time of year. I won't grow a ton of them, although I do enjoy eating both the bulbs and the leaves. But really it's only me who likes them. I have seeds maybe I'll try them out. I'll look into it more to see which is my best bet.

- Get radish seeds started. My husband LOVES radishes. He will scrub them, slice them thin, sprinkle seasoned salt on them, and eat them raw as a snack. They're about one of the easiest things a gardener can grow. And they will grow in smaller containers. I like to grow them in window box shaped containers that don't take up much room. They're an early crop or a late crop here, cool weather only or else they bolt, go to seed, and the radishes are stunted and taste awful.

- Potatoes can be planted right now. I want to give bucket potatoes a try this year. Probably not a lot of them, maybe 6 buckets. I just tossed a sprouty potato that was forgotten in the pantry, wish I had held onto it and planted it. For some reason I thought potatoes were a late Summer crop here. Nope, the planting guide I use says now. So off to the nursery I go this week to find a bag of starter potatoes. I'm wanting to try and find purple potatoes. But really since this is a first time thing, any potatoes will work for me.

- Anything that is being grown for leaves can be started now. Lettuce, cabbage, greens, chard. I have a bunch of lettuce and chard seeds to plant, maybe kale too? It's not on my chart but I bet I can get at least baby kale leaves before it gets too hot.

- Turnips. I have some seeds, so why not? I'll plant them in the container where I will be planting melons later in the season and grow them for the green tops.

That's pretty much all that can be grown right now that I want to grow. It's a good time for broccoli too. If I can find some cheap plants at the nursery maybe I'll give it another go this year. I never have a lot of luck with it though. They make pretty plants, but we get early high temperatures here and they tend to bolt and flower before I get decent sized heads of broccoli to harvest. But the flowers are pretty and you can actually eat them in a salad.

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