Vegetables for winter soups

February is the time to plant vegetables that can be used for winter soups.

February is the time to think about sowing vegetables that will give your family a thick vegetable soup this winter.  Here are a few tips and a list of vegetables that are ideal for sowing this February.

Carrots

Sow carrots as soon as possible. They last for many months in the ground and can be harvested as required. Sow in rows 25cm apart and thin out when foliage is developed. Bill Kerr says Provide a light mulch over the rows (straw or a thin layer of lawn clippings) to cool off the ground and help emergence. When the carrots are established, water deeply and infrequently to encourage deep roots.

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Cauliflower

Sow an early maturing variety (‘Extra Early Six Weeks’ or ‘Snowball’) and a late maturing variety (‘Snowcap’) to extend your harvest. Space rows 90cm apart and plant seedlings at intervals of 45cm in the row.

Bush beans

It may be too late to plant runner beans, but the last sowing of bush beans can still be done before the first week of March. Plants develop best if thinned to intervals of 5cm in rows 60-70cm apart and usually take 50-60 days to mature to first pick.

Leeks

Sow in seedbeds as soon as possible and transplant them into larger beds when their stems reach 2mm in diameter. Space at 5cm intervals in rows 25-30cm apart.

Spring onions

Sow seed in drills 10cm apart. Thin the onions to intervals of 1cm in the row.  Spring onions will be ready 16 weeks from sowing.

What else is suitable for planting this February? Try cabbage, Chinese cabbage, celery, lettuce, onions, parsley, parsnip, radish, spring and turnips.

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