We’re almost there…. February is underway and spring is just around the corner. I still want it to hurry up though!
It really won’t be long before I’m up to my neck in packets of seed and fussing over my labelled pots like a mother hen. But the fact remains that it’s still winter, and most plants just won’t tolerate being started off until the weather warms up a bit and the light improves. That said, there are some that will happily get going in February if you just can’t wait to grow something!
Here’s what to plant in February.
Flowers to plant in February
I love hardy geraniums because they’re one of those garden plants that ticks lots of boxes. They’re tough and aren’t fussy about where they grow, they flower for months, and they’re a good source of food for pollinating insects. They’re also a great plant for dividing to make new, free plants – I’ve got lots of them in my garden and I only bought one plant!
*Sweet peas are great for adding height and fragrance to your garden, and they make a lovely cut flower too. They’re also ideal for growing with children as the seeds are easy to handle and the plants will cope with heavy-handed watering.
Lupins are hardy perennial plants, so they will tolerate being planted in February. You can choose from a huge range of colours too. Lupins like free-draining soil and a sunny spot, although they will put up with partial shade too.
Violas are super-tough and you can plant them right through winter. If your garden is looking a little bare before spring gets going, they’re a great low-cost way to perk things up. They will be happiest in partial shade, but will cope with full sun or full shade too.
Bulbs to plant in February
*Lily bulbs can be planted now; choose a sunny position and ideally rich, well-drained soil. You can also grow them in containers, but you’ll need to provide some protection from frost as the bulbs will be more exposed to cold temperatures.
Vegetables to plant in February
You can sow these little fireballs in February, but they need to be in a greenhouse or indoors on a sunny windowsill as they need the heat to germinate. Our favourite is *Apache, which is a small plant that produces loads of chillies with a real kick. We always dry some of the crop too, the bright red fruits look lovely hanging in the kitchen.
*Broad beans are easy to grow and not very fussy about the soil they are in. The seeds are big, so children can plant this crop easily too. Sow them in pots in the greenhouse and plant them out from March – this is a particularly good idea if you’re planning on growing more than one type of bean, as you can spread out the harvest and avoid a big glut.
*Leeks take a long time to grow, so starting them as early as February is a good idea. You can sow the seeds in pots in an unheated greenhouse or cold frame this month. Doing it this way also makes it easier to separate the seedlings when you plant them out. I think we’ll have a go at harvesting early this year so we can have lovely tender baby leeks; this will also free up space for other crops.
Onions & Shallots
The easiest way to grow *onions and shallots are from ‘sets’. You plant a ‘set’ onion in the ground and it grows into a bigger onion, which you then harvest. *Shallot sets are planted the same way, but each one grows a cluster of shallots (a bit like garlic). They are a great vegetable for children to plant, as you just push them into the earth until only the tip is showing. You often get one or two sets popping out of the soil while they grow, my kids think this is hilarious and love shoving the ‘naughty onions’ back into the ground.
I think this is enough to keep me going until the rush of spring is upon us! What’s on your list to plant in February?