Today we are going to look at what to sow in february. This is mainly for indoor sowing to get a head start on the season. When touchant start planting of course differs from growing zone to growing zone so make sure you account for that. I’m personally growing in zone 8b and the last expected frost date is the 15th of may. Working our we back we can look into what we can start this month. Normally it’s great to start around mid February for most seeds on this list. Just after Valentine’s Day.
If you want to learn more on how to make your planning for the garden check out my blog on “When to start seeds”. And if you want to take a look at my complete growing schedule you can find this on the website over at “Sowing Calendar”.
Before we start the list
Before we get into what plants we can plant in February, I want to take a quick minute about what soil how much water and heat we should use in order to start this early.
I personally like to work with a good potting mix to start out all my seedlings. You don’t have to use a potting mix but usually it has the right ratio from compost to peat to vermiculite or other draining specifications. Also, potting mix has been sifted and therefor has a lot of service area for roots to clasp on to.
Next to our soil we hound look at the right temperature for our seedlings to germinate. For many seeds this is actually way hotter tan what most people think. Best temperatures go up from 20 to 30 degrees celsius (68 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit). What Is way more than the most spoken about minimum temperatures. You can find out more about temperatures in my blog post about “The right temperature for the right Vegetable”.
Lastly I also want to talk about watering real quick. Most people are afraid to overwater their small seedlings. But let me assure you, overwatering is almost impossible for these small seeds. They actually do great in a damp environment for germinating. All water that the seeds don’t need will drain away through the holes in your seed or module trays. Be aware that you can overwater if you use trays without any draining holes. If that is the case keep the soil moist but avoid making it soggy.
Aubergine / Eggplant
Now the first seed that we can and actually should start out is going to be aubergine or eggplant. These require much time to fully mature and need to start as soon as we can. I’m personally growing the Half-Long Violette variety. A strong and old plant that can actually be grown outside if we get a very good summer but does best in the greenhouse.
The plan is to grow about 4 aubergine plants here in our greenhouse this year so I’m excited to see how good they will perform. Actually good to know is the minimum growing temperature for aubergine. Anything lower than 20 degrees celsius or 86 degrees fahrenheit will stun or stop its growth. As soon as the temperature goes above the 20 the plant will continue. You definitely want to start these inside on a heat mat or above heating.
Broccoli / Calabrese
The next crop is part of the Brassica family. and that is Broccoli also known as calabrese. I’m starting these at the end of the month in module trays. The varieties are called “Monclano F1” and “Summer Purple”. Monclano is one of the best varieties in the broccoli business. After harvesting the main head it will keep on growing side shoots that can actually create more harvest than the main head. I’ll sow these in a seed tray and prick them out into a module tray to grow for about 2 months. This pretty much also goes for Cauliflower and brussels sprouts.
Next up will be a familiar plant for most of you to start early. Tomatoes. Tomatoes like aubergines need loads of time to fully mature so sowing them now makes sure we can harvest them before the temperatures drop again. I’m going to grow them inside of the greenhouse and if i get around to build it also inside of the poly tunnel. Can’t wait to see how they will perform in the greenhouse since this will be our first year trying. I’m going to grow a few different varieties. A cherry tomato mixture with “Sweetie red”, “Careza Amarilla yellow”, “bottodoro orange” and “black cherry black”. Next to that I’ll also start the “Yellow pearshaped” tasty tomatoes. It’s a fun yellow pear shaped tomato as the name suggests. Of course I’ll add the “moneymaker” tomato to use in our soups and lastly a beef tomato called “Marmande VR”. Again these need warmth to germinate so I’ll start them inside.
One of my favorites to grow is pointed cabbage. We can also start them in february to get an early summer harvest. I’m starting the most used pointed cabbage called “Cape Horn F1” and next to that a red pointed cabbage called “Kalibos”. I haven’t grown the Kalibos before so really interesting to see how it will grow and taste. We will be starting them in module trays as with most other plants on this list. Many cabbages can be starting in february so If you are trying to grow a cabbage definitely look up the possibilities.
Onions and Spring Onions
Definitely one to add to this list is going to be our onion seeds. If you are starting onion sets you need to wait till about april. But the seeds can already go in right now. We will be growing 2 varieties. A yellow onion called “Rijnsburger” and a red onion called “Roja de Niort”. I’m also looking at planting shallots this year but there seems to be a seed delivery problem. We’ll see if they arrive on time to plant this February! with that I’ll also start spring onions this month. I’m growing a white variety called “White Lisbon” and a red variety called “Red Ninja” (yes I did get these because of their name). Onions and spring onions do well if we multi-sow them so I’ll grab a big module tray and plant 6 to 8 seeds per clump.
Peas for Shoots
Moving down the list we meet one fun plant to grow and add to the garden. Peas for shoots! I love to grow peas as they are easy and good looking. Continuous harvest for a long period with a tasty flavour to add to salads. I’m growing many varieties of peas this year but the peas for shoots will be the “Heraut”. Many growers say we should not start peas in module trays. But it’s actually perfectly fine to do this. I’ve done it multiple times and never had any issues.
Of Course to start off our season early here in zone 8 we need to get going with our peppers. These always require more time than we got here really. But this year in the greenhouse we need to give it a shot! I’m growing the varieties “Yolo wonder” and “Cayenne long slim”. We start these out in seed tray and just spread the seeds till we can transplant them into 9cm pots. They require quite a lot of time to grow so we transplant them in big pots.
Next up my favorite of the bunch… Beetroot! You will probably need to get the bolt hardy variety to start this early. I’m going to try and start 2 varieties, bolt hardy beetroot called “Bolivar” and also the “beta vulgaris kogel 2”. Let’s see if they will survive and how the harvest will be. Sowing these in a module tray again with the multi sowing method. I’m making walkthrough videos on everything I’m planting this year so if you want more info head over to my YouTube Channel.
Let’s continue with radishes! Radishes don’t really like the heat too much and actually taste less “hot” when grown earlier in the season. I’m growing a mixed color variety this year called the “Raphanus Sativus”. It’s filled with yellow, white, red, and half red/half white colors. With radishes, the plan is to multi sow them in a module tray. I’ll be aiming to get about 4 in per clump.
Another great vegetable to start in february is artichoke. Only grow these when you have loads of space because they require about 80cm or almost 3 foot to grow. I’m starting them in 9cm pots or bigger to give them enough space when growing inside. The variety is called “Violet the Provence”. It is my first year growing them so we’ll see how it goes.
We can also start out our Leeks in February. I’m growing two varieties, “Stamford F1” and “Carentan 2”. Stamford is a fast growing leek variety that can actually be sown later in the year around may and will still be ready on time. We are going to use a multi sowing method for leeks. This way we save time and space as well in the greenhouse as in the garden.
Lastly we will also start out our lettuce mix in february. I’m actually going to start many varieties of lettuce this year. some in spring and some in autumn. starting with “salad rocket”. Next to that, I will start the Crispleaf lettuce “grenobloise” a beautiful red curled leafy green. Also, Corn salad is on the list. Some might know it as Lambs Lettuce. Next up the green and red Salad bowl “Lactuca sativa”. And lastly I want to try out planting “Milan” lettuce. These I will grow for the head so I’ll leave it in till they are ready. All of these will start their life in a seed tray and later on be pricked out into 77 cell module trays from Containerwise. Salad doesn’t really need much space to start out so we can fit in many in a small space.
That is what I’ll be starting this month. Like I said check out your growing zone and last frost date to make sure you can adjust when needed.