By Jo Whittingham
From sowing and planting to transforming into and harvesting, Backyard Harvest covers storing, freezing, and keeping assistance that you can get pleasure from your garden's bounty into the iciness months and during the early-spring hole while little is able to harvest.
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Additional resources for Backyard Harvest: A year-round guide to growing fruit and vegetables
Time and effort spent on your seedbeds now will be well rewarded later with strong, healthy young plants. GROWING FEATURE Creating a tilth Although seedlings do not need the most fertile soil, they are unlikely to thrive unless their environment has been prepared carefully beforehand. Creating what gardeners call a “ﬁne tilth”, where the soil surface is raked into ﬁne crumbs, is important for successful germination, but this is easier on some soils than others. All soil types will beneﬁt from the addition of a good organic compost.
HARVEST: VARIOUS Try COLD & HOT PICKLING pages 176–179 1 FRUIT TREES 46 MONTH-BY-MONTH February: what to do PROTECT BLOSSOM WALL-TRAINED FIGS Apricot and peach blossoms open so early in spring that they’re highly vulnerable to damage from even relatively minor frosts. Damaged flowers will not set fruit. To protect your crop, cover the flowers with row cover draped over the branches. Protect wall-trained trees with a covered frame. Remove the cover on warmer days to allow insects in for pollination – see below.
It can be cooked or eaten raw because it has a delicious, sweet flavor. 3 ‘Fiesta’ is a variety that produces large, domed heads. Once the main head is harvested the plant will produce sideshoots, which can also be eaten. 4 ‘Romanesco’ is excellent eaten raw or cooked because it has an exceptional, nutty flavor and a good firm texture. Worth growing for its attractive heads formed of distinctive, vivid green spirals. 5 ‘Late Purple Sprouting’ is an unusual variety that produces an abundance of hardy, tender spears.