February 28, 2024

Garden Notes: February 2024

February is daffodil month


  • 10th: 0.19"
  • 11th: 0.29"
  • 12th: 2.9"
  • 23rd: 0.67"
  • 27th: 0.1"
  • 28th: 0.15"
  • Total: 4.3 inches
  • range of nighttime lows: 27 to 55°F (-3 to 13°C)
  • range of daytime highs: 57 to 72°F (14 to 22°C)
Weather Notes
  • We had some lovely outside days this month.
  • We also had days with warm thermometer readings, but the wind was strong and relentlessly cold.
  • Warm temps came with rain.
  • Cooler temps came with clear skies.

Greenhouse Notes

My cool weather vegetable growing experiments have done well, even with no supplementary heat.

Broccoli. I only planted a few plants and the heads didn't get very
big, but it was enough for a steamed vegetable for dinner one night.


Lettuce. Could have used more of this!
Note the lettuce starter tray on the left.

Potatoes, thriving after their tops froze last month

Volunteer chickweed is growing in quite a few of my pots


  • lettuce
  • broccoli
  • kale
  • chicory greens
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • chickweed
  • turnips
  • dandelion greens

  • snow peas
  • daikon radishes
  • kale

  • lettuce starts
  • rugosa roses
  • echinacea
  • daffodils
  • strawberries

Garden Notes
  • Still working on weeding and mulching aisles with wood chips
  • Weeded and mulched the asparagus bed
  • On warm days I have to resist the temptation to plant frost sensitive veggies. Our last frost is said to be mid-April, and the past two years we've had killing frosts after that date. Better to be patient than sorry!

Snow peas and newly transplanted lettuce.

To plant my lettuce, I used Daisy's (Maple Hill 101) Winter Sowing Method and can tell you it worked a treat. I loved that the tiny sprouts and seedlings didn't dry out, nor did they need to be hardened off. A keeper of a method.

And here's a surprise.

Surviving Swiss chard (and daffodils)

One of last summer's Swiss chard plants amazingly survived last month's frigid temps, which were the coldest we've experienced since we've been here. It's started growing again, which is most welcome!

Parting Shot

1st homegrown salad of the year! Greens: kale, chicory, wild lettuce, cultivated
lettuce, dandelion, turnip, chickweed; hardboiled egg, feta goat cheese, and cherry
tomatoes preserved in olive oil and vinegar
(which also serves as the dressing)

Your turn. What's happening in your gardening world? Anything?


daisy g said...

Again, you’ve had a great amount of rain. When is it considered your rainy season? I forget where you are.

So glad the winter sowing method worked well for you, although it’s not mine. I gleaned it from “Hooked and Rooted”, a vlog that I enjoy on YouTube. It’s changed how I start seeds forever!

Our winter sowing includes lettuce, kale, leek, onions, and a handful of herbs. We still have cabbage and broccoli to continue harvesting. I just planted some white potatoes and have started our sweet potato slips growing inside.

Continued success!

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Wow! Chickweed too? That's great. That salad looks wonderful. I keep begging my husband for a greenhouse, so I too can enjoy winter greens, but our winter project list looms over us right now. I hope to get some spring green onions soon though. They are trying to sprout up again right now.

Leigh said...

Daisy, we don't have an official rainy season, in that I can predict when it will be rainy and when it will be dry. It varies a lot from year to year. In general, most of our rain is in winter and spring. Summer and autumn tend to have dry spells.

Kristina, well, it took over a decade for our greenhouse to happen. ;) It is great, though, even with the few plants I've got growing in it. Next year, I hope to make it even more productive.

I really like chickweed in salads, and was happy to see it growing in my greenhouse pots. The one in the photo has grown some of the largest chickweed I've ever seen. Part of it went into that salad.

Ed said...

I'm a bit envious of your rain totals. We got 0.2" for the entire month. We can't seem to beg a rain here.

Right now, it is 13F here but with the 50 mph winds, it feels like -5F according to the weather people. I believe it. I'm staying inside today. After three days in a row of mid 70's, my body just can't take the 75F swing in temperature.

But it is supposed to be mid 70's again this weekend and the 10 day forecast shows mostly 50 and 60F highs. Depending on what we have going, we may put some salad stuff in the ground.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Leigh, we seem to have lurched into Summer already, with temperatures up into the mid-80's

The only thing that seems to have survived is the garlic - which is fine, as it turns out, as due to the upcoming move I will have to defer for this year (and find out if I will have a deck or porch and what, if anything, I can plant).

Congratulations on being a daily post on the Permies newsletter! (I, of course, as a regular follower of the blog, knew all of it already...)

Nina said...

Daffodils! Yay! Still not seasonable plants here yet, despite the weather being so topsy turvy. The temperatures have been bouncing up and down here. A couple of hours ago it was 14C and in 3 hours it's dropped 10 degrees, and is expected to be -6 or more by this evening. So weird! The sap is running though and we've got our first batch of maple syrup boiled and canned. Plus, the other day against the dreary brown/grey landscape, I saw a flock of swans flying overhead, which is really so very cool. While they migrate over our area twice a year, they are sleek, fast fliers and we don't get to see them often.
Nothing in my garden yet except the realization that I left way to much for spring clean up.

Shug said...

Everything looks so green and fresh...and healthy. Love the daffodils.

Leigh said...

TB, that's definitely summer weather! Will you be in a different gardening zone after the move? That, weather patterns, and soil type will likely make for new gardening experiments.

Nina, oh my, those crazy swings in temperature must make maple sap collecting more challenging. So cool about the swans. I've never seen them migrating.

Shug, thanks! The daffodils are always a welcome sight. :)

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Leigh, it will be a very different environment, so I will have to relearn everything.

Leigh said...

TB, in that case, you'll likely need a good year to make observations and do a little research. Sounds like a rather fun challenge.

Kev Alviti said...

The garden isn't producing much here, but as usual I'm getting going with some big plans!
I love the look of that salad. I bet those tomatoes preserved like that are lovely.

Leigh said...

Kev, I've been following your greenhouse progress! The tomatoes are a real treat. More like a relish, but really tasty on salads.

Goatldi said...

Your broccoli and mine are in the same pot apparently! My plants of two varieties are not even close to the "beginners luck" of three varieties of last winter. The Brussels Sprouts have another 30 more days to maturity there may be some hope. Don't get me wrong on the broccoli they are producing and cook up nicely but not nearly as productive in numbers of heads.

Most of the issues are weather driven. Too cold to soon and the too warm when it needs cooler. I do have a huge crop of Miner's lettuce just about my entire 3.5 acres. Followed by chickweed. The chickens are delighted! Salad for all they cluck!!

Leigh said...

Ed, blogger hid your comment away in the spam folder, so I'm late answering it. Their spam detection makes a lot of mistakes, and I often find it labels my own comments to my own blog as spam!

Our temperature swings haven't been as wild as yours, and you've had such a long dry spell! Always discouraging. Is there much moisture in your soil?

Goatldi, thank you for mentioning miners lettuce! I'm amazed you have it growing so prolifically. I haven't grown it in several years, but I think it would be a good one for the greenhouse next winter.

What varieties of broccoli did you plant? Do you remember? I think mine was Waltham. Or maybe it was a mix of varieties, I can't recall. The plants look healthy enough but we could certainly use more heads!

wyomingheart said...

We are not seeing anything blooming yet, as we jus5 came off two nights in the 20’s, but we have started adding donkey poo and topping off the raised water trough beds with mulched maple leaves. I think we lost two apple trees to this crazy cold we had this winter. Yes, we picked a fine time to stay on the ridge this winter… lol! We probably won’t be putting any seed in the dirt until March 15, but will probably only be sugar snap peas, cabbage, and turnips. Everything else will go in after the first of April. Grea5 post Leigh, and I’m hungry looking at that beautiful salad!

Leigh said...

Wyomingheart, I'm sorry to hear about your apple trees. It can be discouraging to lose things, especially trees. Sounds like you're doing some good things for your garden though. Spring will be on us before we know it!

Quinn said...

So exciting that your greenhouse is already earning it's keep :)

Leigh said...

Quinn, I'm really glad to have gotten some experimenting in this winter. Summer will be a different matter, and another experiment.