Gardening In February

So the other day I was outside walking around the house and I noticed my poor old cold frame.  Long neglected, broken down, rotten wood, maybe hit by the plow a few times.  It was the first bit of season extension that I ever tried.  I used it to winter over parsley.  That was about the extent of it.

The old cold frame.
The old cold frame.

One year I planted some Claytonia seeds and they reseeded for years after that.  I always considered it to be my survival food, always there waiting for me.  But then came that time I let the oregano go to seed.  Guess where it decided to live?  My cold frame!  Instead of complaining about the lack of snow and how I couldn’t go snowshoeing, I decided to clean out the cold frame.  The oregano had completely taken over.  I dug each plant out but I’m afraid the seeds scattered.  It may not be the last of the oregano!

Before the clean out.
Before the clean out.

After cleaning out all of the leaves, I found one little Claytonia plant.  If you haven’t heard of Claytonia perfoliata, also called Miners Lettuce or Winter Purslane, it’s a fantastic edible to winter over in a cold frame.  Self seeding, delicious, vitamin rich.  It gets it’s common name from the days of the California Goldrush.  The leaves don’t seem to last too long so I usually pick what I want and eat them.  Cut the leaves and it grows right back.

One little Claytonia.
One little Claytonia.

When the job was finished we found rich soil full of worms.  Perhaps I will sow something in there in the coming week.

Cold frame cleanup finished!
Cold frame cleanup finished!

After checking the whole property, I decided to tackle my tiny raspberry patch.  It was obvious which canes had to go.  I grabbed my lopers and started hacking away.  After removing a whole pile of leaves and canes, things were looking pretty good.  It may be early but I top dressed the bed.  I got so fired up about the raspberries I was thinking of planting more!  This February gardening thing is great!

Aged rabbit manure for my raspberries.
Aged rabbit manure for my raspberries.

Up the road there is an ancient row of maple trees and I noticed on Sunday that they had been tapped.  I scrounged around and found our taps.  I had a bit of resistance on this project.  Oh, the drill isn’t charged.  Then it was, we don’t have any gallon jugs.  So out the old fashioned hand crank drill came and we washed the jugs that we had.  Sap poured out immediately and by the next morning, two were overflowing!  We worked out more of the details as the week went on.  At least we started collecting sap!

The old hand crank drill.
The old hand crank drill.
Tree tapping time!
Tree tapping time!

It’s been lovely outside, even if my snowshoeing goals have dissapeared.  I feel like I’ve got a great head start on the outdoor chores.  Feels like spring is here but we still have to get through March!  Thanks for reading Everlongardener!  What are you working on this week?  Leave a comment, follow me on Instagram @everlongardener, on Pinterest, subscribe via email or on Bloglovin’.