Get a jump start the gardening season with a selection of plant seeds you start indoors in February. Seed packets provide information about planting times, sowing depth and the days to harvest.
As a general rule, start the seeds 4 to 6 weeks before the outdoor planting season begins. Start the seeds earlier to produce a more mature plant for transplanting. We love to use cardboard egg cartons to begin our indoor garden, which can be transferred directly into the ground outside when the earth is warm and ready.
Warm-weather vegetables, such as tomatoes and peppers, need a long growing period. Start the seeds indoors in February and grow them for 6 to 8 weeks. Once the seedlings reach about 8 inches high, harden them off for a week or two before transplanting into the garden. Other vegetables to start in February include lettuce varieties, chard, and eggplant. February is a good time to start cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage. Start summer squash when you start the pepper and tomato plants. Plant cucumber seeds during the last week in February.
Start watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew by planting seeds indoors, due to the long growing season required by melons. Pumpkins require a long growing season as well and should be started in February. Strawberry seeds need about 6 weeks of cold before planting in February. Once the seedlings have three leaves, the plants need hardening off and moved into their permanent growing site in the garden.
Start basil, oregano, parsley, and dill indoors in February. Other herbs that do well when started indoors include mints, thyme, and sage. The seedlings transplant well into containers that sit on the porch or patio. You can also transplant the herbs directly into the garden. Basil and parsley suffer in cold weather and do not survive temperatures below freezing. Many other herbs grow as perennials in cold and warm weather climates.
If purchasing seeds from a website, it’s helpful that you know your zone. Not everything thrives in all climates, no matter how much we nurture our garden. Now is the perfect time to plan for your “harvest to table” enjoyment!
USA Zones 7-10 include Alaska, the north-central United States, northern New England, and the Rockies.
USA Zones 4 and 5 include the northern Midwest states and southern New England.
USA Zones 6 and 7 include the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, and the Mid-Atlantic states.
USA Zones 8 to 10 cover the southern United States and California.
Good luck and good gardening to you!