I’m starting to get really excited now that the growing season has started to creep up on me, but this year, I’m going to have a little more restraint and wait a while before I start to sow the majority of my seeds.
I know that many seeds can be started now but I don’t want to fall into the trap of having lots of little plants hanging around waiting for the weather to warm up enough for them to go outside. I have a couple of greenhouses that I could house the plants in, but in all honesty, no time to tend them. Seeds started a little later on will catch up and not end up into leggy specimens waiting for the opportune moment to be planted into their final growing positions.
That said, if you do have the time, space and patience to nurture the seedlings, here are a list of seeds that can be sown now.
Jobs to do………in February
- Continue to plan what you intend to grow this year and order seeds before your favourites become unavailable
- Harden off autumn sown cauliflowers and cabbages
- Sow salad crops in succession under cloche protection
- Check your soil’s PH level to test for alkalinity and acidity and add lime if necessary
- Mulch around raspberry canes to encourage strong shoots and prune Autumn varieties to about 6″ above ground level
- Turn the compost heap to aid decomposition
- Slugs can still be a nuisance this time of year. Check your brassica leaves for signs of them.
- Remove the dead leaves from brassicas leaves such as cabbages and sprouts to help prevent mould and downy mildew
- Check your vegetables in storage
- Chit your potatoes in a frost free place to encourage strong shoots
- Warm areas of your soil with clear polythene, carpet, cardboard or black plastic
- Garlic can still be planted this month as long as the soil isn’t too waterlogged
- Check that shallots in the ground are still firmly in place and not been pulled up by the birds.
- Continue digging over the plot adding plenty of well rotted organic material.
- Start to save the cardboard tubes from toilet and kitchen rolls and newspapers to make your own biodegradable pots for seed sowing next month
- Collect plastic meat and mushroom containers and yoghurt pots to use as seed trays
- Make sure pots and seed trays are cleaned ready for sowing
- Start to save empty plastic veg and meat trays to use for sowing seeds
- Collect egg trays for chitting potatoes
- Lift and store the remaining winter parsnips
- Plant and divide chive plants
- Secure netting on remaining brassica plants
- Cover late crop vegetables that are not winter hardy such as salads and oriental leaves
- Continue to hoe all weeds where possible
- Plant out cabbage transplants that have been hardened off under cloches or fleece. Close planting will allow some to be used a spring greens giving the remaining plants a chance to grow and develop further.
- Don’t forget to feed the birds
What to sow………Indoors (Heated)
- Broad Beans
- Melons (Late Feb)
- Celery (Late Feb)
- Onions and shallot seeds
- Kohl Rabi
- Tomatoes (only greenhouse destined varieties this early)(Late Feb)
- Cucumbers (Late Feb)
What to sow………Indoors (Unheated)
- Brussels Sprouts
- Winter salads
- Summer Cabbages
- Summer Cauliflowers
- Early variety peas
- Parsley (curly leafed)
- French beans for a successional crop (Late Feb)
- Chillies, peppers and aubergines in heat for an early start
- Leeks (min temp 13c)
What to sow………Outdoors
- Autumn onion sets and shallots
- Broad beans
- Early Peas (In a sheltered area)
- Autumn sown onions
What to plant………in February
- Winter salad crops – protected by some sort of cloche
- Plant rhubarb sets
- Fruit bushes
- Jerusalem artichokes
- Bare root container-grown trees
Crops in season now
- Broccoli (Sprouting)
- Brussels sprouts (tops)
- Jerusalem Artichokes
- Kohl Rabi
- Winter Radish
I’m with you – sowing early when you haven’t the room or time to look after the seedlings can just result in more failures – unless you genuinely need to crop all year round sometimes it’s best to focus on the easy stuff that produce results.
Thanks for your comment. Last year I was so eager that I had plants all over the house. My kids weren’t too impressed to be sleeping in the same room as toms and chillies!!😁
My husband despairs at this time of year!!
Debb, you’re absolutely right about waiting to start seedlings. It’s a hard thing to do, but if you don’t wait, 9 times out of 10 the weather will turn cold the week you intended to plant and stay that way for a few more. Then you have big awkward seedlings that should have been in the ground a couple of weeks ago. I fight this battle with myself every year 🙂
Thanks Dan. It’s nice to know somebody else has the same thinking as me. I will use the time to be more organised and clean my seed trays in preparation for the big seed sowing event that will possibly happen now about the end of February beginning of March.
Wow, who says there’s nothing to do in the veg garden at this time of year! Thanks for the list. I’ve also learnt from past experience to hold back on the sowing. I find later sown plants end up much stronger for it.
thanks Zoe. Patience is key this month. Seeds like it snug and warm so won’t germinate if too cold, therefore wasting the seed and the time involved sowing them.