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Seeds to Sow in February

Seeds to Sow in February

In the UK, February is a good month to sow seeds of hardy annuals such as cosmos, and greenhouse crops such as tomatoes. By sowing seeds early on in the year, you can enjoy flowers and vegetables for a larger part of the year – the growing season can then be extended by carrying out repeated sowings from March onwards.

If you have a heated propagator and grow lamp, you can start sowings of chillies, aubergines and sweet peppers in February. Otherwise, sow seeds of hardier vegetables such as kale, and hardy annual flowers such as cosmos, in pots on a warm, sunny window sill.

February is also a good time to plant summer-flowering bulbs in pots, most of which do best in free-draining soils. You can plant hardy perennials such as Japanese anemones and hardy geraniums, too. Most are dormant in February, with little or no foliage growing above the ground. However, by planting them in February you can get them off to a good start, as they will start growing as soon as temperatures increase.

Outside, in soil warmed beneath a cloche, you can sow broad beans and plant out young plants of hardy salads.

You will need:

It’s exciting to be able to start sowing a variety of different seeds at this time of year, and to give them the best chance you might find that it’s worth investing in additional kit, which we’ve suggested below.

  • Heated propagators: Available in a range of shapes and sizes.
  • Cold Frames: If you’re prepared to add a bit of extra insulation, a cold frame offers protection against wintry weather and can help hardy seeds get off to a flying start too.
  • Greenhouses: For those of you who have been toying with the idea of a greenhouse, we’ve got handy guides packed with information about how to choose the best greenhouse, as well as 12 of the most useful greenhouse accessories.

Flowers to plant in February

Cosmos

Photo by N Suma on Unsplash

Cosmos are easy flowers to grow and they look great in borders or meadows. The seeds need light to germinate, so sow on top of peat-free seed compost in a tray or plant pot placed indoors in a sunny spot such as a window sill, then prick out when large enough to handle.

Sweet peas

 

Photo by Eugenia Romanova on Unsplash

Sweet peas are a stalwart of summer garden and they’re easy to grow. Sow seeds individually into biodegradable pots or cardboard tubes, as they can be planted out in their containers to avoid root disturbance. Keep them in an unheated greenhouse or cold frame and harden off before planting out.

Salvias

Photo by J Dean on Unsplash

Salvias are great for providing structure and height in the garden, and many varieties can be grown from seed. Sow the seeds in February, scattering them on top of peat-free seed compost, and then cover the seeds with a fine layer of compost or vermiculite. Keep the pots in a light, warm spot indoors, ensuring the compost stays moist.

Lilies

Photo by Jim Strasma on Unsplash

Lilies are fantastic summer border flowers, and work well in cut flower arrangements. Plant the bulbs any time from autumn to spring in a sunny spot, in rich, well-drained soil, around 15-20cm deep. If you have heavy, wet soil, it’s best to plant them in pots, to plat out later.

Vegetables to plant in February

Kale

While very hardy, kale seeds need to be started off indoors during winter, as it’s too cool outside for the seeds to germinate. Sow seeds indoors in modules or 7cm pots, with 2-3 seeds per module, then thin to leave the healthiest seedling. Keep on a sunny window sill.

Tomatoes

 

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The seeds of tomatoes need a minimum temperature of 10ºC to germinate, so are best started off in a heated propagator. However, if you wait until the end of the month, a sunny window sill should be warm enough to encourage germination, just make sure the pots or trays are covered to stop temperatures falling dramatically at night.

Chillies

Photo by Phillip Larking on Unsplash

Chillies are a good crop to start in February, but only if you have a heated propagator as most varieties need a minimum temperature of 25ºC to germinate. Sow 2-3 seeds thinly per small individual pot using seed compost. Cover to own depth with vermiculite.

Aubergines

 A selection of aubergine

Photo by Nina Luong on Unsplash

Harvest July to October.

Like chillies, aubergines need a minimum temperature of 25ºC to germinate, but the earlier you sow them, the longer their season of growth and the greater chance they have to fruit. Sow 2-3 seeds thinly per small individual pot using seed compost. Cover to own depth with vermiculite.

Basil

Basil leaves

Photo by Alissa De Leva on Unsplash

Basil needs a minimum temperature of 15ºC to germinate, so is best sown in a heated propagator, but you may have success on a sunny window sill from the end of the month. Sow basil thinly on the surface of pots or trays of seed compost, and cover with vermiculite.

Broad beans

Vegetable seeds to sow in December - broad beans

Sow broad beans in February for a head start on spring sowings. Sow direct outdoors if conditions are mild or if you have pre-warmed the soil using cloches or fleece. In cold conditions, sow in multi-celled trays in a greenhouse or cold frame, and then plant the young plants out when temperatures have increased.

Adapted from: https://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/what-to-plant-in-february/
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