It’s February and anyone who’s been gardening for at least one growing year knows what that means: It’s time to start preparing, in earnest, for the upcoming growing season. It’s time to decide what varieties you will be growing this year, and get the seed planted indoors to begin growing those seedlings – depending on your area.
Where Do You Garden?
I must pause to note that I garden in about the middle of the country and speak from experience about gardening in this climate zone. If you are farther south, say in the really deep south, your growing season is going to be more of a year round one. In that case, my advice won’t apply to you so much, but to a degree it will because you can have killing frosts for a while yet. If you are in the northern parts of the USA, then February is not the time you want to begin your seedlings. Wait until about six weeks to two months before the last frost date for your area to begin your seedlings as it’ll take the seedlings that long to grow big enough to be transplanted outside.
Ordering Seeds: It’s Not Too Late!
It’s not too late to order your seeds from seed catalogs. If you’ve not thought through your seed selections, now is the time to kick that effort into high gear. Ideally, January is the time I pore over the catalogs and study the different varieties of vegetables and decide on the types best suited to my climate and soil type, but if you haven’t started yet, now is the time to get going!
Vegetables to Start as Seedlings in February
What should you start as a seedling in February? To start, consider veggies like
broccoli, eggplant, lettuce, onions, peppers, tomatoes (I know, I know, the endless debate over fruit or vegetable, but you know what I mean) and all kinds of herbs.
According to the University of Illinois Extension, you can plant broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and head lettuce ten weeks before the last frost date. They estimate seven weeks before the last frost for planting seeds indoors for tomato, eggplant and peppers – and cucumbers, muskmelon, watermelon and squash need four weeks to grow before the last frost is past.
Keep Reading for Seed Starting Ideas