Gardening in Late Winter

As a gardener, learn to enjoy the journey. Some things will grow beautifully and some things will disappoint. We always plant more than we can eat, and hope for enough that we have to share to not be overwhelmed. Time spent in the garden is the reward.
~ Skookum Member

Gardening on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia can be both a joy and a challenge. With the recent surprise winter weather that the area has experienced, gardeners may feel a bit unsure about how to proceed with their February gardening plans. However, with some careful planning and preparation, you can still make the most of this late winter season as we reach the end of February and enter into March gardening tasks, and the promise of spring!

Firstly, it is important to note that February is a transitional month on the Sunshine Coast. As we near the end of February, the weather begins to warm up, and many plants start to emerge from their winter dormancy. Gardeners can take advantage of this by starting to prepare their garden beds for planting. One of the most important tasks for this time of year is to add organic matter to your soil. This can be done by adding compost, well-rotted manure, or leaf mold to your garden beds. Organic matter will help to improve soil structure and fertility, which in turn will help your plants to grow strong and healthy. But wait until the snow melts.

Another important task is pruning. Now is the time to prune any deciduous trees or shrubs that have finished flowering. Pruning can help to improve the shape of your plants and encourage new growth. It is also a good idea to prune any dead or damaged branches from your plants to help prevent disease and pests. You will want to do this while it remains cold, and before the sap begins to flow once again.

In addition to pruning, February and early March are great times to start planning your vegetable garden for the coming growing season. Decide what vegetables you want to grow and start thinking about where to plant them. Consider factors such as sun exposure, soil quality, and water availability when planning your garden layout. You can also consider starting seeds indoors now for vegetables that need a longer growing season, such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants.

Finally, it is important to be prepared for unexpected weather events, like the recent winter storm that the Sunshine Coast experienced. Make sure that your garden beds are covered with a layer of mulch or compost to protect them from frost and other extreme weather conditions. If you have delicate plants, consider covering them with a protective cloth or blanket during cold nights.

In conclusion, while late winter gardening on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia can be challenging and unpredictable, with a little planning and preparation, gardeners can make the most of this transitional month. With these tips in mind, gardeners can look forward to a bountiful and beautiful garden in the coming months.

Here’s a few more winter gardening shares from Skookum Members who responded to a post on our Skookum Chat and Social Facebook Page:

Enjoy your winter gardening adventures, Skookies!