February might be cold, wet and have you longing for spring but it’s a great time to start sowing seeds indoors. The earlier you sow them, the longer you’ll have to enjoy your plants throughout the year. Keep your seeds cosy in a propagator or if you haven’t got one, a bright draught-free windowsill will do the trick.
Knowing which are the best seeds to sow this early on in the year is key. Here we’ll share 8 flower and vegetable seeds to get you started.
1. Sweet Peas
February is the perfect time to sow Sweet Peas. We were a little on the late side last year and while we did get a few flowers, we’d have done so much better had we sown the seeds earlier.
Sow your seeds in 7cm pots using a mix of seed compost and grit for better drainage. Your Sweet Peas should germinate in 10-14 days, with flowers blooming from May to August.
Why choose Sweet Peas?
Dainty, delicate and beautifully scented, Sweet Peas are a wonderful choice for your summer garden. Vibrantly coloured, they’ll form the most beautiful floral display, trellised up one of our decorative garden screens.
What’s more, you’ll enjoy cut flowers galore. The more you cut your Sweet Pea flowers, the more you’ll get. Make the most of their gorgeous scent, with vases and jars of sweet peas around your home.
After a real summer show-stopper? Get sowing Dahlia seeds. Available in a wide range of colours from pastels to brights, they’re a must-have for all gardens and great for cutting too.
Sow 1-2 Dahlia seeds in cells or small pots, using a mix of seed compost and vermiculite. Germination can take anywhere between 5 and 20 days. Expect flowers from July to October.
Why choose Dahlias?
Dahlias are fairly easy to grow and will create stunning displays throughout the summer. What they lack in scent, they make up for with incredibly intricate and stunning blooms. Once established, select a sunny growing site and deadhead regularly to keep your flowers blooming.
Cosmos are beautiful and very easy to grow. We recommend choosing one of the single-flowered varieties to keep pollinators happy. Butterflies particularly favour Cosmos as their nectar is within easy reach.
For best results, sow your Cosmos seeds indoors, late February to early March. They’ll need plenty of light to germinate, so try sowing them on top of seed compost in a tray. Once they’re big enough, prick out the best ones and transfer them to 7cm pots for growing on.
By May, your Cosmos will be ready for hardening off. Place them in an open cold frame for a week or so before planting them out in your borders, meadows or wherever you want them to flower.
Why choose Cosmos?
Cosmos blooms last for months and are well worth the money spent on seeds. They’re also an excellent cutting flower and great for brightening up your home.
Fruit and Vegetable Seeds
It’s possible to start sowing tomato seeds as early as February, as long as there’s enough daylight. Like with most seeds, a lack of sunlight can result in leggy and weak tomato plants. If you’re lacking light, consider buying an LED growing light online.
Sow your tomato seeds in pots or trays of seed compost and place them in a heated propagator. If you don’t have one, a nice warm windowsill will do. Keep the compost moist with water in a spray bottle.
Why choose Tomatoes?
Tomatoes are not only delicious but incredibly good for you. What’s more, they can be used in a wide range of dishes.
No matter the size of your garden, you can have a go at growing tomatoes. Pot them in a planter and attach them to a metal garden screen for additional support. Alternatively, use a grow bag with bamboo canes. Just be sure to leave them in a nice sunny spot to keep them warm.
5. Chilli seeds
Sow chilli seeds as early in the year as possible. The earlier you sow the seeds, the longer they’ll have to ripen before the end of summer.
We’ve sown a few different varieties of chilli in plug trays and popped them in a propagator for extra warmth. They’re now sitting comfortably on the windowsill while we wait patiently for them to germinate.
Why choose chillies?
Growing your own chilli peppers gives you the option to try different varieties that you’re unlikely to find in the supermarket. And you don’t need a greenhouse! Simply grow them indoors and when they’re ready, place them in a sunny spot on your patio or decking.
Sow your aubergine seeds in late February. Use modules or pots and place them inside a heated propagator or on a warm, sunny windowsill. You’ll need to prick out and re-pot your seedlings as they grow. Be sure to harden them off before planting them outside in your patch.
Why choose Aubergine?
Aubergines will make the perfect addition to your curries, stews and pasta dishes. A versatile vegetable, they can be grilled, roasted or stuffed for vegan, vegetarian and ‘Meat-free Monday’ recipes.
With an impressive nutritional profile, including antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, it’s no wonder everyone’s going crazy for Kale. Sow your seeds in February, placing 2-3 in each module. Once they start to grow, thin out the weaklings, leaving only the strongest seedling.
Why grow Kale?
With kale, you’re almost guaranteed a successful crop. It can withstand cold weather and it’s relatively pest-free – just watch out for birds! Versatile in the garden and kitchen, it can be planted in a patch or raised beds and used in a variety of dishes.
Sautée your kale with lemon, chilli and ginger for a real taste sensation.
Sow your basil seeds indoors late February, ready for planting out once there’s no chance of frost. Fill a 6cm pot with seed compost and sprinkle a few basil seeds over the top. Cover with a thin layer of vermiculite and pop into a propagator for best results.
Once the seeds have germinated, take them out of the propagator and keep them watered. When they’re large enough to transport (and have developed true leaves), transfer them to their own 7cm pots.
Why grow your own Basil?
A staple in Italian cooking, basil leaves are perfect for adding flavour to pasta sauces and pesto. Save money on fresh supermarket-bought herbs by growing your own.
Tips to help your February seeds thrive
- Make sure you thoroughly clean everything that will come into contact with your seeds. This includes your gardening tools, pots and propagators.
- Sow your seeds in new, peat-free compost. Mix with grit or vermiculite to improve drainage.
- Avoid overcrowding. Your seeds need space to grow.
- Your seeds need warmth to grow but there is such a thing as too much heat. High temperatures, coupled with low light, can make your seedlings leggy and prone to damping off.
- Open the ventilators on your propagator to increase airflow to your germinating seeds and wipe away condensation daily.
Share your tips for growing seeds with Metal Garden Screen
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the best seeds to sow in February. We’d love to see how you get on with your plants, so don’t forget to tag us in your photos on Facebook and Instagram @metalgardenscreen.