February Vegetable Gardening Tips

By February 22, 2023Garden Tips

By Ira Wallace of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and the author of The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast and 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.
New to seed sowing? Expanding into direct sowing or beginning to grow your own transplants? Our Beginner’s Growing Guide to Starting from Seed covers the basics. For a more comprehensive resource, our standby is Nancy Bubel’s classic guide The New Seed Starter’s Handbook.

Let’s get Sowing!