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For the month of......February


Forget about planting traditional vege crops in the wet season.  Stick to heat-loving crops like snake beans and water-loving kang kong grown in your pond or bath.  (BB 2011)

Plant flat-leaf parsley in well drained garden beds or pots.  (BB 2011)

Plant mini/dwarf tomatoes at the end of the month to “get a start on a crop before the dry comes” (when you can plant traditional varieties).  They need five to six hours of sunlight a day.  (BB 2010)

Prepare for dry season growing by sowing seeds in punnets in the protection of the shade house - dill, rocket, lettuce, tomatoes, snow peas, capsicums and coriander.  (GA 2005)


“Native food plants in the tropics are laden with fruit.  They include black plum (vitex glabrata), white apple (syzygium forte and syzygium armstrong), blackcurrent (antidesma ghaesembilia), red plum (canthium schultzii) and purple plum (terminalia microcarpa).  Plant some for a future harvest.” (GA)

Keep harvesting kang kong so it doesn’t get “leggy and bitter”.  Re-plant for new young plants. (GA)

Vietnamese coriander will keep growing until you can plant traditional coriander after Easter.  Best confined to pots.  “Cut off the tail, spiky flower heads and use the flat leaves as a coriander substitute (use a few more than normal coriander)”. (BB 2011)

Pick a bunch of ceylon spinach, kang kong and sweet potato leaves, throw them in the blender and add the mix to pies, quiches and chippattis. (GA 2005)


It’s a good time for repotting large fruit trees and moving them to a sunny spot in the garden where they’ll be protected from storms.  (GA)


Plant cassava cuttings now.  Old wood stems will strike well if poked into wet, soft ground.  Make sure it’s the plain green leafed variety not the variegated leaf (which is ornamental).  (BB 2010)

Perfect time to take tip cuttings.  Snip off first thing in the morning, keep moist in a plastic bag, dip in rooting powder and put them in seed raising mix.  (GA 2005)

Prepare and provide

Take a tour of your garden during one of the wet season downpours to “watch where the water flows”.  You’ll learn “where the run-off goes, how erosion happens and hopefully some clues on how to solve the problems”.  (BB 2011)

Taro and casava could use some encouragement with a bit of compost.  Alternatively, add blood and bone and cover with mulch.  (GA, 2005)

Break the banana flower off your banana bunches (use it to cook a fab salad!) and give the plant a good dose of chicken manure. (GA 2005)

Put mulch under your pumpkins and watermelons so they don't rot, then mulch on top to protect them from the sun.  (GA 2005)


Avoid doing pruning now if you can help it.  Cuts take longer to heal in the humid weather and plants are at greater risk of disease.  (BB 2011)


“Weed, weed and weed again.  Lush weeds are a terrific source of nitrogen for the compost heap”. (GA)

(Sources: Gardening Australia, Feb 2011 & Feb 2005; Bourke's Backyard, Feb 2010 and Feb 2011)

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Reader Comments (2)

Lucy - Great job on this! I'm inspired to plant, pick, provide, and so on and so forth! You've found some really do-able things to fill up a February of working in the evenings in the garden. Thanks!

February 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJana

A great all-year rounder is pumpkin tops - succulent and delicious when picked young, cooked in coconut milk for a few minutes; use the top 8 - 10 inches of the vine (up to the first bigger leaf). If necessary, you may want to strip off the fibrous strings, but picking them young should not make this necessary. Also good raw in salads, and stir-fries.

By naming Vietnam coriander, do you mean culantro? A long, strong leaf with serrations that grows moreorless flat on the ground and tastes quite similar to cilantro - good in salads, soups, just about anything when chopped fine. Another year-rounder.

June 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterruth quinto

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