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What To Plant in February

What To Plant in February

February may seem like a dormant month for gardeners, with its chilly winds and frosty mornings, but it’s a prime time to start sowing seeds for the upcoming growing season. Whether you have a sprawling garden, a modest backyard, or even just a windowsill in a city flat, there's plenty you can do to get a head start on the year's planting. This guide will take you through what to plant in February, focusing on vegetables, flowers, and herbs suitable for the UK climate.

Starting: Understanding Your Climate

Before diving into what seeds to sow, it’s crucial to understand the UK’s climate and how it affects your gardening activities. February in the UK can still be very cold, with the risk of frost in many areas. Therefore, most planting during this time is done indoors or in a greenhouse to protect young plants from harsh weather conditions.

Vegetables to Sow in February

1. Onions and Shallots

February is the ideal time to start your onions and shallots from seed. Although they can be sown directly into the ground in some milder areas, starting them in trays or pots indoors will ensure they are strong enough to withstand any unexpected cold snaps when they are later transplanted outdoors.

2. Broad Beans

Broad beans can be sown directly into the ground this month, especially in milder parts of the UK. For colder areas, start them in pots under cover. They are hardy vegetables and can handle some cold, but young plants will benefit from protection if a severe frost is forecasted.

3. Peas

Like broad beans, peas can also be sown in February. Starting them in pots or trays under cover will help them along before planting out. Consider using a heated propagator for an even earlier start, ensuring your pea plants are robust by the time they move outside.

4. Leeks

Leeks require a long growing season, making February an excellent time to start them indoors. Sow them in pots or trays with plenty of space, as they’ll spend a while growing before they’re ready to be moved to their final position in the garden.

Flowers to Sow in February

1. Sweet Peas

Sweet peas are a favourite for their fragrant flowers and can be sown this month. They benefit significantly from being started in a greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill, ready to be planted out once the weather warms.

2. Pansies

Pansies can bring colour to your garden even in cooler months. Sowing pansy seeds in February allows them to establish themselves indoors before being transplanted outside. They’re resilient flowers that will thrive in the cooler temperatures of early spring.

3. Antirrhinums (Snapdragons)

Starting antirrhinums in February gives them a head start for summer blooming. Sow them in trays under cover, as they need protection from the cold. These flowers require patience but reward you with vibrant displays later in the year.

Herbs to Plant in February

1. Parsley

Parsley can be slow to germinate, so starting it indoors in February is wise. Use a propagator or place them in a warm spot to help speed up germination. Once they’ve grown into strong seedlings, they can be moved outdoors.

2. Chives

Chives are hardy herbs that can be sown in February. Start them in pots on a sunny windowsill, and you'll have a supply of fresh chives by spring. They're perennial, so you'll enjoy their taste for years to come.

3. Coriander

Coriander can be tricky, as it doesn't like to be moved. Sow it directly into pots that you can keep indoors until the risk of frost has passed, then move them outdoors or keep them on a sunny windowsill for a continuous supply.

Tips for February Planting

  • Protection Is Key: Remember, February can still bring frosts. Use cloches, fleece, or a greenhouse to protect young plants.
  • Start Indoors: Many plants benefit from a start indoors to avoid the coldest weather. Use a sunny windowsill or a heated propagator if you have one.
  • Check Seed Packets: Always check the seed packet for specific instructions. Varieties of the same plant can have different needs.
  • Plan Ahead: Use February to plan your garden layout. Consider companion planting to maximise space and improve plant health.
  • Label Everything: It’s easy to forget what you’ve planted and where. Use labels to keep track of plant varieties and sowing dates.


February is a month full of promise for gardeners. By starting seeds now, you’re laying the groundwork for a fruitful and colourful garden in the months ahead. From hearty vegetables to beautiful blooms and aromatic herbs, there’s plenty to keep you busy. With a little preparation and protection from the cold, you can kick-start your gardening year and look forward to the abundance of spring and summer.
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