10 plants to sow in February to prepare your garden for spring


Woman gardening

If you’re a keen gardener and excited to kickstart the growing season this year, February may seem like an unexpected time to sow seeds. 

Yet, this often chilly month can be the perfect opportunity to breathe life into your garden and extend the growing season.

Of course, much of the greenery you can plant in February is quite weather permitting. However, by taking action now, perhaps with the aid of a heated propagator, you can give your garden an early boost towards vibrancy.

Continue reading to discover 10 plants you can sow this February to prepare your garden for spring. 

1. Carrots

You could give your root vegetables the upper hand this year by planting your carrots in February. If conditions are mild, you could sow carrot seeds directly into the soil outdoors. 

While they are very versatile vegetables, you may need to use a cloche to warm the soil before you plant carrots if the weather is still relatively cold in your part of the country. On top of this, it may be worth finding an area in your garden where the soil is slightly sandy. 

By preparing early, you could ensure you’ll have a bounty of crisp carrots ready for harvest by summer.

2. Kale

Kale is a nutrient powerhouse, often high in vitamins A and C, and contains lots of iron and fibre. Even though kale is a hardy plant, it may still benefit from an indoor start to give it the best chance of survival.

You could start by sowing kale seeds in modules or seven centimetre pots, placing two to three seeds for each module. Then, as the seedlings emerge, it’s wise to thin them out, allowing the healthiest ones to thrive. 

When they’ve exhibited strong growth, you can then transplant the robust seedlings outdoors, and before you know it, you’ll have a vast supply of kale for your homemade salads. 

3. Hardy geraniums

If you prefer flowers over fruit and vegetables, hardy geraniums – also known as “cranesbills” – could be the ideal flower to plant in February. 

This is because cranesbills are resilient flowers that bloom for months, providing food and sustenance for pollinators visiting your garden. 

Better yet, their adaptability means you can grow them in sun or shade, and they can accommodate most types of soils, except those that are waterlogged. 

4. Garlic

Garlic is the perfect addition to almost every recipe, and if you’d like a plentiful supply of bulbs for mid-July, then February is the optimum month to plant it. 

Perhaps two of the better varieties of garlic to grow in the UK are silverskins or softnecks, both of which are well-suited to the climate in the UK. Softnecks can stay in the ground for up to a year too, meaning that you’ll always have garlic on hand to cook with. 

By planting these varieties directly into the soil in February, you’re essentially ensuring that bulbs can thrive through spring. 

5. Rhubarb crowns

As it’s both a sweet-but-tart treat and a reliable source of antioxidants, rhubarb is often a welcome addition to your garden. 

Rhubarb goes dormant over winter and starts growing again in spring, so February could be the ideal time to plant new crowns. Better yet, these hardy perennials are relatively low maintenance once they’ve established themselves in your garden. 

However, it’s essential to exercise caution if you’re planting rhubarb for the first time, as it has the tendency to spread across your garden quickly. 

Regardless, if done right, you could end up enjoying the tartness of rhubarb by the time summer rolls around.

6. Lettuce

If you take plenty of care, planting lettuce in February could also help you prepare for the spring. 

Indeed, you may need to use a cloche to warm the soil before you plant if you want to ensure you’ve provided your lettuce with the optimal conditions for it to thrive. 

Even though lettuces can often struggle in colder temperatures, they tend to manage more when they’ve established themselves, even in varying weather conditions. 

With a healthy supply of lettuce, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to make plenty of fresh and crisp salads throughout the summer. 

7. Lillies

The timeless beauty of lilies can make them a wonderful addition to your garden, brightening up any green space. 

Lillies also tend to be quite hardy, and you can plant bulbs in a sunny spot anytime between autumn and spring.

To give these lovely flowers the best chance of survival, it may be prudent to plant bulbs in well-drained soil, around 15 to 20cm deep. 

You may even want to consider various varieties and colours of lilies, creating a diverse and appealing display of flowers. 

8. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a fruit that need little introduction, and growing your own could supply many recipes to come. 

While tomatoes do typically need a minimum temperature of around 10 degrees to germinate, you could start them off in a heated propagator this February to give them a head-start on growing. 

Then, once they’ve sprouted, you can move them to the garden, or if you still aren’t confident about weather conditions, you could always leave them on a windowsill. Just make sure that you cover any pots and trays at night to avoid dropping temperatures. 

9. Broad beans

Yet another hardy plant that you can sow in February are broad beans. In fact, broad beans can survive in temperatures as low as minus 10 degrees Celsius, and can germinate at just two degrees Celsius.

As such, you can sow broad bean seeds directly outdoors in most parts of the country in February. Though, if it’s slightly colder where you live, it may be worth using a cloche to warm the soil first just to be safe. 

Broad beans aren’t just nutritious, but they also enrich your soil with nitrogen, paving the way for future plants. 

10. Galtonia

Despite their name, galtonia – or summer hyacinths – are best planted in February. These elegant flowers thrive in a sunny position with free-draining soil.

It’s worth noting that if you have heavier soil in your garden, it may be worth planting them in pots this month and transferring them to your garden once they’re more established. 

The tall spikes of the flowers can add grace and beauty to your garden by the summer months, and you won’t need to worry about hassling over them later in the year. 

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Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.