Harvesting leeks

Five crops to harvest in February

Keep your kitchen well stocked in winter with these crops to harvest in February.

While it’s not the main growing season, there are still plenty of winter crops to harvest in February – vegetables and herbs in particular.

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Leeks and kale are just can both be picked in late winter, and they make delicious additions to winter stews and salads. Of course, these winter harvests depend on the time of sowing or planting. For example, leek seed sown in summer will ensure harvests right through winter. Evergreen herbs like rosemary and bay can be harvested at any time, though be careful not to over-harvest, as they won’t be putting on new growth until spring kicks in.

Find out which winter vegetable and herb crops to harvest in February, below.

Kale is one of the hardiest winter vegetables out there, so it's ideal for February harvests.

1

Leeks

Leeks can be sown from February to June, and it’s those sown in summer that will provide harvests in February. If you have a glut, it’s fine to leave them in the ground until needed. Harvesting is easy – just use a fork to gently lift them from the soil.

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2

Bay

As an evergreen shrub, bay leaves can be picked at any time of year. Young plants in particular can be damaged by frosts, so it’s worth moving them to a sheltered spot over winter, to safeguard your pickings. The plants won’t be growing in February, so avoid over-harvesting.

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3

Stored apples

If done correctly, stored apples from late-cropping apple trees like ‘Newton’s Wonder’ and ‘Ashmead’s Kernel’ should last throughout the winter months.

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4

Rosemary

Though there are no new shoots to pick, the older, evergreen growth is still perfectly fine to harvest and use in cooking. As with bay, new shoots won’t appear until spring, so avoid picking too much.

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5

Kale

Kale is one of the hardiest winter vegetables out there, so it’s ideal for February harvests. Sow kale alongside leeks from March to June, to create a bed of tasty winter vegetables.

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Winter salad

You can supplement your winter pickings by growing winter salad. Hardy varieties of your favourite salad leaves can be used, or try more unusual crops like salad burnet and winter purslane.