What seeds to sow now in February

Days are still short, and the risk of frost is very real, but some seeds can be sown, especially if you can add a little heat and protect seedlings from frost. Here are a few seeds I will be sowing this February:


All of the following flowers need to be sown under cover, with the aid of some added warmth and protection from frost.

  • Aster – Asters are sun loving perennial flowers with wide varieties within their genera. They tend to have daisy like flowers. They prefer moisture retentive soil types, which have been improved with organic matter. Asters grown under cover should be good to plant from March to May.
  • Lupin – Lupins are a cottage garden favourite which loves the sun and produces spikes of flowers of many colours. They like well drained and slightly acidic soil but need to be well watered when they start to grow in spring. Seedlings will do well when planted in their flowering spot in Spring and Summer.
  • Nasturtium – Nasturtiums are edible flowers that is a great company for a vegetable garden. It can act as a decoy plant as well as add flavour and interest to a salad. Once germinated, protect the seedlings until March and then plant them out. These flowers can spread, so many people will plant them in pots and place them in sunny locations.

A previous blog post includes a video on how to sow Aster, Lupin, and Nasturtium seeds.

Vegetables and Salad

  • Onions – It’s an excellent time to sow salad and bulb onions for a crop later this year. I’ve sown two varieties of bulb onion and one variety of salad onion so far. For bulb onions, I have sown, and for my salad onions, I have sown a variety called Ishikura.
  • Parsnip – Depending upon the variety, some parsnips can be sown in February. I will be sowing F1 Gladiator from a seed pack I purchased a while ago but will be switching to Organic Tender & Trust Parsnip later this year. The F1 Gladiator can be sown in February, but my organic variety will be sown early March.
  • Carrot – Carrots, like parsnip, can be sown in February, depending on the variety. I am growing Organic Manchester Table Carrots this year but will be waiting until late February to sow these.
  • Tomato – I will be growing Rose De Berne Big Pink Vine Salad Tomatoes this year, which can be sown in late February. Getting the timing of sowing tomatoes correct is quite essential. Too early, and they will become leggy as they seek the sun, and the crop will be late and may not be as productive as they could have been. As with many Febraruy Seeds, sow tomatoes undercover with extra heat to help germinate.
  • Peppers – Peppers need a long season to produce the most fruit. I am sowing Kapia Pointy Red Sweet Pepper. Ideally, peppers should be started in January or early February under cover. Extra heat for the soil is important to help germination.

Things to help seeds germinate

Heated propagation bench Heated propagation benches provide heat to the base of trays warming up the soil to aid germination. I built my own bench using a heating wire connected to a thermostat and sand. I’ve used my homemade bench for quite a few years, so it is worth the effort and added temperature controls using a thermostat.

Homemade heated propagation bench.
Homemade Heated Propagation Bench

Heated Propagator – Heated propagators work similarly to the bench by applying heat from the base to raise the temperature of the soil. Unlike the bench, these tend to be stand-alone propagators with a clear plastic top to help keep heat and moisture. These can be brought from garden centres, but mine was secondhand and donated to me by my parents, so you may be able to pick them up for free or at a fairly reasonable price.

Heated Propagator
A heated Propagator helps seeds germinate by adding heat to the soil/compost and protects seedlings from weather and frost.

Propagator – A propagator is a tray covered by a clear plastic top to keep heat and moisture. These use sunlight to increase temperature; they are less effective at raising soil temperature but do not have the running costs of an electrically heated propagator system.

Windowsill – a windowsill is probably the cheapest option for most people, and the seeds will benefit from heating within the house and sunlight from the window. The only downside is that it has seed trays on your windowsill, but that is a little price to pay for getting seeds started.

Greenhouse – A greenhouse will provide protection from frost and other weather. It will also trap heat from the sun but loses heat very quickly. Soil temperatures will not be as constant as using a windowsill or heated system but will help germination happen before anything is sown outdoors. Greenhouses come in many shapes and sizes. I have a 6 by 8-foot aluminimum frame greenhouse with toughened glass. I went for the metal frame to reduce the maintenance needed and toughened glass as I have children and didn’t want to risk injuries you can get from agricultural glass.

Greenhouse in February
Greenhouses are used to aid germination and protect seedlings from frost and weather.

Cold frame – cold frames can help like a greenhouse by protecting young plants from weather and frost. They tend to be used for young plants rather than germinating seeds. I built my cold frame from old pallets, so they don’t have to cost a lot.


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