February is a busy month in the kitchen garden on two fronts: preparing beds for spring and summer planting, and propagating seeds.

 We have been busy with our bed preparation, not only for vegetable growing but for the establishment of annual and perennial flowers. We have two beds at the entrance to the kitchen garden reserved for flower bedding. Our volunteer, Tim, is designing the bedding scheme for one of these, and hopefully the results will be exciting.

Our vegetable beds are gradually being cleared for the new season. It is important to clear all annual and perennial weeds, and then mulch the beds with good compost material to reinvigorate the nutrients in the soil. You can also begin to plant out. Our garlic went in before Christmas, broad beans in January and this month we have planted out our onion sets.

Our propagation of seeds has begun in earnest. When you buy in your new seeds, it is always a good idea to check the sowing timetable on the packet, as these will vary from variety to variety. Having access to a heated propagator with plenty of light is also vital, and make sure to avoid frosts as all that hard work can be undone overnight. Also, check your greenhouse for pests. Mice can be a threat to new seedlings, so make sure they are protected.