February heralds the first hints that Spring might be on its way, so it’s a great time to prepare the vegetable garden. While March is the earliest time you can realistically sow vegetable seeds outdoors, you can certainly get things ready this month. February in the veg garden is also time to start sowing seeds indoors for transplanting later in the season. February often ends with a cold spell, (although this year we’re getting that at the beginning of the month too!), so you’ll want to be very aware of your local conditions before anything goes into the ground. February is a great time for sowing vegetable seeds in a propagator, greenhouse or polytunnel and we have some great suggestions for other vegetables to plant in February, so read on!
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What Vegetables to Plant in February
You’ll want to split what vegetables to plant in February into where you’re going to sow the seeds and how you’re going to grow them. So we’ll look at vegetable seeds to sow in February inside and what to sow outside.
As I’m writing this, I realize how much of what we grow is actually started off inside, so I think it’s a good idea to mention that we start things off inside the house. Warm window sills and the front porch. But this is also a good time to think about whether a small greenhouse or a polytunnel would help your vegetable growing endeavours. They’re a great (and small) investment and both will last for years. A mini greenhouse can take up a very small footprint, and a polytunnel a little more space, but they both come in a variety of sizes. I’ve written about the best of both.
We’re both hands-on when it comes to the garden, so everything we select is easy to put together and doesn’t need any special tools other than what you’d have in a regular toolbox.
Vegetable Seeds to Sow inside in February
February is a great month to start sowing vegetable seeds for those summer harvesting veggies that need a longer season. Whether your inside is a windowsill, porch, greenhouse or polytunnel, you’ll want to take into account the actual temperature of the “inside”. If its minus 4 outside then the polytunnel or greenhouse will provide some protection, but it is not going to be as toasty as your kitchen windowsill. Here are our recommendations of what you can easily sow inside in February,
Grow Mushrooms Inside in February
If you read some of my other guides on what vegetables to plant throughout the months, then you’ll see I write about mushrooms a lot. And that’s because they’re so easy to grow. Once we bought our first mushroom growing kit we never looked back. They’re so easy to manage, just add water (regularly) and crop your first mushrooms in about 3 weeks.
Plant Chili Peppers Inside in February
We use a lot of chilli in our cooking and its one of the ways we save money by growing our fruit, vegetables and spices, we grow what we eat. So we try and start a chilli plant a month over the winter months – especially seeing as we love to see the chillies growing and adding a splash of colour to the window sills. (We have crowded windowsills!)
Growing chillies is easy. You’ll need warmth, sunshine and regular watering. It’s seriously easy to get started growing chillies with a chilli growing kit – and they help you experiment with new chilli seeds without having to buy a large seed packet. Chilli seeds should start to germinate in about 10 days and then you’ll want to check them regularly and make sure they get enough warmth. The hotter the chilli on the Scoville scale the warmer the environment they need.
Chit or Sprout Potatoes Inside in February
Growing potatoes in bags is one of the easiest things you can grow. And digging out your own potatoes is just fabulous. They definitely taste different from what you’ll buy from the supermarket. January and February is a good time to start chitting potatoes – again inside – and it’s not hard. Get your early potatoes started sprouting by standing them in a cardboard egg box on their end on an inside window sill of the porch. Once the potatoes have sprouted then we put them into the potato grow bags in the back yard. If its cold, like it is this year, then we’ll keep the potato grow bags inside the mini greenhouse that lives in the back yard until the weather warms up a bit more. Our full guide on how to grow potatoes in bags is here.
Start Tomato Seeds inside in February
Ever since our first year of fruit and veg growing when we grew 480 tomatoes (for the two of us to eat), we’ve loved growing tomatoes. I adore going outside and picking a ripe tomato off the vine and eating it there and then. The smell and taste are divine. We invested in a jam and chutney making kit that year to turn the glut of tomatoes into incredible chutneys and tomato relishes that became presents for family and friends that year. These days we’re somewhat more controlled about how many seeds we plant, but tomatoes are always one of the seeds that we started indoors on the windowsills. We’ll try and mix it up by trying new varieties, but our out and out favourites for taste and flavour are here.
You can also read some of our tomato growing secrets here.
Vegetables to Start in the Greenhouse or Polytunnel in February
If you do have a greenhouse or polytunnel then there are a variety of seeds that you can sow undercover. Always take into account the regional variations in the temperature and check the seed packet, but you should be able to sow these veggie seeds under cover.
- Onions from seed
- Rocket and Mizuna Salad Leaves
- Early Peas > Read about how to grow peas in a pot here
Vegetable Seeds to Sow Outside in February
I’ll preface this section by saying, sowing vegetable seeds outside in February very much depends on whereabouts in the UK you are, what the local conditions are and what the weather is like that year. Realistically, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to plant any vegetables outside in February without a cloche, greenhouse or polytunnel. As I write the ground is frozen here and looks set to be for the next week or so.
Plant Rhubarb Crowns in February
We’re a big proponent of making it easy to grow fruit and veg and that’s why we’d recommend buying a rhubarb crown rather than growing rhubarb from seed. That’s because you shouldn’t harvest rhubarb until its second year. So a rhubarb crown (a year old plant) means you can skip the “early years” and get right to the harvest at the end of your first year. You can plant rhubarb crowns in the spring and autumn months and plant dormant crowns in February, assuming that the ground isn’t frozen. We get around the vagaries of the weather by growing rhubarb in pots and keeping them inside the polytunnel until it’s a little warmer.
All our monthly vegetable planting guides
- What vegetables to plant in January
- What vegetables to plant in March
- What vegetables to plant in April
- What vegetables to plant in May
- What vegetables to plant in June
- What vegetables to plant in July
- What vegetables to plant in August
- What vegetables to plant in September
- What vegetables to plant in October
- What vegetables to plant in November
- What vegetables to plant in December
Final words on Vegetables to Plant in February
February in the vegetable garden is a great time to get a head start on those vegetables that have a long growing season. Tomatoes are a great example, get them started inside ready for summer harvesting. If you’re lucky enough to have a greenhouse or polytunnel, then you’ll be able to sow many vegetable seeds inside so that they’ll be ready to transplant later in the year. Get the potatoes chitting, and keep your window sills full – whether its glorious smelling herbs or the colour of a chilli plant. It may be cold outside, but there’s a whole lot of hope for the garden in the year ahead!
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