2021 February Vegetable Gardening Tips
Ira Wallace Southern Exposure Seed Exchange & author of Grow Great Vegetables in Virginia
February is the time to finish planning your garden and start planting in flats. Early in the month check to make sure you have all your seeds ordered and ready to start including extra for succession plantings and “summer planting for your fall harvest”. Indoors or in a cold frame, start some lettuce, parsley, early cabbage and broccoli. Early in the month finish sowing any remaining bulb onions from seed and hot peppers like Habanero because they are very slow to grow early on.
Mid month you can start sweet peppers and eggplants. Start more broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, Chinese greens, and lettuce in flats. Later in the month start your first tomato seedlings. You may want to start a cold tolerant Russian variety or an extra early variety like Glacier or Stupice or check out our blog post TOP TIPS FOR TERRIFIC TOMATOES.
We like pre-sprouting spinach, pea, carrot, and beet seeds on paper towels in an incubator for an extra early start in the spring. These can be planted every two weeks. Plant them out under Reemay as soon as they send out their 1st little roots. Incubators or heating mats speed up germination and get your early seedling flats off to a flying start. When the weather warms up switch to direct sowing these seeds.
In a cold frame under a garden blanket, you can start some Globe Artichokes. Plants that see temperatures between 35 and 42 when young will often produce well in early summer the same year. Start cool weather greens like spinach, Bok Choi, Lettuce, Mizuna, Mustard and early lettuce varieties.
Finish weeding your perennials and give them compost, if it was not done in fall, including strawberries and grapes. February is the month to transplant any remaining bushes, canes, or crowns. Mulch all your new perennials edibles and top off established plantings.
We may not be able to go out and be inspire by beautiful indoor display gardens at the Maymont Garden Showbut there are so many great online workshops available to educate and inspire you to be a better gardener. Here are a few that I will be offering in the coming weeks. I hope you can join me:
Grow Great Vegetables in Virginia: Great Varieties and Effective Techniques (VMGA Grow Your Own Food #1) Feb 27, 2021 10:00 AM EST: Event full, registration closed
Better Backyard Tomatoes Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 7 PM EST – 8:15 PM register online at piedmontmastergardeners.org
Grow Great Vegetables in Virginia: Loudoun County Master Gardeners- 11th Annual Symposium(Virtual)https://loudouncountymastergardeners.org/events/annual-symposium/