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February

Harvest your crops. Right now, everything is in abundance. Cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, beans, eggplant, chillies and onions to name a few. Take note of where you planted them, so you can move your crops locations around next season.

Continue to keep up your watering. Tomatoes, cucumbers and melons thrive on extra water – the more water the juicier they will become. Remember to keep your watering away from their leaves though, if possible.  But for your chillies, when they are close to being harvested, easing back on their watering can help them hotten up.

You can now start planning your autumn and winter vege garden. Broccoli, cauliflower, beetroot, leeks, spinach, rhubarb and silverbeet can all be planted right now. Try to have the ground clear for a few weeks in between crops. Use this time to dig through some lime, compost, and give the soil a good turning over.

Keep up your summer vege planting too. Lettuces, basil, spring onions and other salad veges can be planted every few weeks to ensure your house has plenty of salad supply.

February can typically be very humid, so watch out for fungal disease that can spread quickly in this weather. Powdery mildew targets your cucumbers, peas, beans and courgettes. Keeping reasonable gaps between plants is one way to prevent its onset.

You can thin out your carrots and keep plucking laterals off your tomatoes. If you’re feeling like your tomatoes are a bit slow this season you can always help assist in their pollination. Take a kid’s paintbrush and lightly spread the pollen from one flower to the next, to pollinate them.

Trim back your perennial herbs such as oregano and rosemary. Cutting back the branches in half will stop the plant going leggy and help prepare it for the colder months. Remember to hang the thinnings up to dry, to use the leaves later for cooking. A couple weeks in a breezy spot should dry them out. Then simply chop up and store in a labelled jar.

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