February is that month of the year when we start growing impatient. After three long winter months, we ache to see our orchard and garden blooming once again.
Our whole yard is covered in 50 cm of snow and the temperatures outside are still below freezing, but we can’t stop thinking about spring and our future garden plans.
But while wait for spring to come there are still a few veggies and herbs that we can start planting indoors. We made a list of the veggies and herbs that we plan to sow as soon as February starts.
Some plants have a longer growing season and starting them indoors early give you a better chance at a good crop. But success rates will depend on the amount of daylight (or artificial light) you can give your seedlings among other things.
The later in the season you plant your seedlings, the more amount of sunlight they will have, so it’s best to wait. But if like us, you’re impatient you should try to get a head start.
If you don’t want to go to all the trouble of sourcing all the seeds yourself you can order an early spring seed pack from Amazon. You won’t need much else for this project if you have some pots laying around, use those or get a seedling pack.
If on the other hand, you want more control over what you plant here’s our top recommendations for the 9 vegetables and herbs to start plating in February:
Kale is a great plant to start indoors during the cold season. Kale seeds germinate quickly and are very resistant to cold. Kale can sprout in temperatures as low as 5°C / 42°F. If you provide them with plenty of light and water you will have healthy kale plants in no time.
Kale grows just fine in medium size pots. Fill them up with nice vegetable topsoil and plant the seeds about 1.5 cm / 0.5 inches down. Keep the pots in a bright spot that gets as much daylight as possible.
Chard is another cold resistant plant. You can start planing it early in the season in containers with a plastic lid. While the chard seeds germinate it does need a constant temperature.
You can also plant chard straight in the ground under a poly-tunnel if you have the set up. Plant it somewhere where it has plenty of light and well-drained soil.
Salad greens like spinach, arugula and baby salads are easy to start indoors. They are also one of the most recommended crops for cold weather. And you can get them in a kit with 6 different varieties.
After sprouting they will need around 12 hours of light per day for an abundant harvest. If you do not have a spot that gets a lot of sunlight you can grow them under artificial light.
Cauliflower can be started indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost. This will give you a really good head start and it will allow your plants to develop better.
To start your cauliflower seedlings indoor, sow three or four seeds to a pot and keep the seedlings in a sunny, cool spot. After they sprout thin the sprouts and leave only one plant per pot.
Broccoli seeds can also be started indoors 7 to 9 weeks before the last frost. They germinate in 10 to 14 days in a warm place. Once the seeds have sprouted, be sure to keep the soil lightly moist.
Same as the cauliflower, thin the seedlings so you end up with only 1 plant per pot. In a few weeks, once the plants get to about 15 cm in height you can move it outside or to a larger pot.
Eggplants seeds germinate best at temperatures above 23° C / 75° F. They definitely don’t love cold weather, so make sure you put the pots in a heated room. In optimal conditions, the seeds should germinate in around 7 days.
Although we’re big fans of growing vegetables indoors, we wouldn’t recommend eggplants for this. But if you do have a small patch of garden where you can move them in late spring, go for it.
Nothing beats having fresh parsley for cooking, so why not start it from seed? Plant the seeds in a pot and place it near a warm, sunny window. Water it well and wait. The seeds will start to germinate in a few weeks. Be patient with this one.
After getting a few big leaves you can start pinching the tops off and get into harvesting. The roots will continue to shoot out new growth. Don’t over-harvest in the first few months to allow the plant to develop.
Basil seeds will sprout in about 7 to 14 days in moist soil at about 21° C / 70° F. Under the right conditions, you will be able to harvest fresh basil in as little as 3 to 4 weeks.
We plant a fresh batch each year and keep it in our kitchen for quick harvests, but this year we’ll try adding it to our food forest as a perennial. It grows just fine outdoors, but you might want to wait until later in the year to plant it outside.
Cilantro, or Coriander as it’s called where we’re from, loves the cold weather. If you live in a warmer climate you can even get away with planting outside. Although cilantro grows just fine in pots.
I love having it around the kitchen for any Mexican dishes we cook. Goes great with limes and salsa. It grows really quick and it can be harvested just like the parsley.