Are you planning to grow your own fruit, vegetables or herbs this year? The sun’s low and the temperature’s still cool but there are a few tasks you can get done during February, before the weather warms up.
While it isn’t too hectic at this time of year, there are some things to sow and do in your kitchen garden or on an allotment this month if you’d like to get a headstart. If you’re a fair weather gardener then you can put most of it off until March, but if you’re itching to get going then have at it.
What to sow in February: Outdoors (under cover)
Warm up the soil with cloches and horticultural fleece, or sow your seeds in pots or modules in a greenhouse.
- early/tough varieties of broad bean (such as Aquadulce types)
- summer cabbage
- garlic (not seeds)
- Jerusalem artichoke (tubers)
- ‘cut and come again’ salad/lettuce leaves
- winter lettuce varieties (such as Winter Density)
- ‘sets’ of onions and shallots (not seeds)
- early varieties of peas (such as Early Onward, Feltham First)
- rhubarb crowns
- spring onions
- spring varieties of spinach (short day types)
What to sow indoors in February (warm windowsill/propagator)
- greenhouse cucumbers
- sweet peppers
- some types of greenhouse tomato (check individual seed packets)
February: what to sow indoors (room temperature)
- brassicas such as cabbage and Brussels sprouts
- herbs for kitchen windowsills, such as parsley and chives
If you’re desperate for a quick crop you can also sprout some peas for pea shoots, or grow some microgreens or beansprouts. You might be able to grow some baby leaf lettuce too, as long as you have a cool, bright windowsill to grow them on.
Garden jobs to do in February
1. Send out for supplies
The grow-your-own tools and accessories have arrived in the shops – look out for compost, plant food, pest control, canes, twine, pots and more. If you haven’t done it already, now’s a good time to plan what you’re going to grow this year, and order your seeds, sets and plants.
2. Plant tubers and onions
If the soil’s frost-free, February is a good time to plant out:
- Jerusalem artichoke tubers
- Onion and shallot sets
- Late / Spring garlic
Use a cloche or fleece to protect onions if needed.
3. Prepare new potatoes by chitting
If you’re planning on growing early potatoes this year, start to ‘chit’ your tubers. Stand them on end in a light, frost-free place until they start to sprout ‘eyes’.
4. Get fruity
- Plant new fruit trees, canes, bushes and rhubarb crowns
- Divide established rhubarb crowns
- Prune mature apple and pear trees, figs, and gooseberry and currant bushes
- Cut autumn fruiting raspberry canes (aka primocanes) back to the ground to encourage new growth
5. Other garden jobs this month
- Prepare seed beds
- Clean out and sterilise greenhouses
- Re-pot hardy winter herb plants that need more room
- Protect delicate fruit blossom from frost with fleece
- Feed fruit with potash (potassium) rich fertiliser
- Feed spring greens nitrogen-rich fertiliser
- Tidy up the plot and compost old leaves
- Turn the compost heap (look out for sleepy hedgehogs)
Will you be growing your own this year?