By Brandy Brabham, WVU
Extension Agent – Agriculture
and Natural Resources,
Gardening is a fulfilling endeavor. Many people garden because it is good for their health. Others garden because they want to know the source of their food. Still, others do it to enhance their landscape or make some extra spending money.
Gardening provides a sense of purpose and belonging by connecting people. Families use gardening to teach heritage, foster relationships, and make memories. Others use gardening as a topic of conversation when socializing with neighbors and friends. Gardening has a universal language that brings the community together.
Whatever your reason, planning is the most productive work that gardeners can do to prepare for gardening success.
When deciding what to grow, be sure to identify your goals. Are you looking for a peaceful place to pick flowers? Go with a backyard perennial garden! Do you need something fun for kids? The bean, corn, and squash teepees are hard to beat! If you need a low-maintenance plot, consider herbs or berries, or look into permaculture!
Keep in mind that different goals require different planning, action, and commitment.
For example, if maximum production year-round is your goal, focus on succession planting, intercropping, and season extension. However, if your goal is to preserve enough to feed your family through winter, your planning and planting would look different.
Start the planning process by writing down all the produce, you not only like to eat, but also produce that can be grown in your area.
Next, sketch your garden layout. Remember, for best sun exposure, orient the garden so the rows run east to west, with the tallest plants on the north end.
Then, review gardening catalogs and websites to learn about the kinds of plant varieties from which you can choose. Well-chosen plants can provide habitat for wildlife, beautiful colors and textures to admire, and fresh, affordable food.
If you need assistance with the planning process, contact a local Extension Master Gardener or visit your local WVU Extension Service office.
Garden Thoughts for February
February 2015 Gardening Calendar
2 Groundhog Day
3 Full Moon
7 Apply lime and fertilizer; Order fruit trees
9 Grow herbs on the windowsill
10 Order a high tunnel
11 Last Quarter; Seed head lettuce (indoors)
12 Build a low tunnel or cold frame
13 Seed cauliflower (indoors)
14 Valentine’s Day; Clean dust from houseplants with damp cloth
16 President’s Day; Seed celery (indoors)
17 Seed leafy salad greens in high tunnel
18 New Moon; Ash Wednesday; Prune grapes
19 Seed broccoli (indoors)
21 Seed peas (outdoors) south of U.S. Rt. 60
23 Prune raspberries, blackberries, and fruit trees
24 Seed cabbage (indoors); Plant Irish potatoes in high tunnel
25 First Quarter; Seed onions and greens in cold frame or low tunnel
26 Apply lime sulfur to blueberries; Prune blueberries
27 Apply dormant oil spray to fruit trees; Prune deciduous trees/ shrubs