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Seeds to Begin in February

As quickly as I’ve taken down the Christmas decorations and dragged out the tree, I dig out my seed trays and begin checking my provides. I do know it’s too early to get any basil or tomatoes going; I do know Zinnias and Impatiens gained’t have the ability to go into the bottom till the tip of Could (if then!); I do know that seeds began too early indoors will flip into pathetic, lanky, weak crops that gained’t do something outdoors besides embarrass me, however I can’t assist myself; seeding fever has set in.

The trick to profitable seeding is planning, beginning the precise seeds on the proper time in the precise situations. Typically, the precise time to start out seeds will depend on when the seedlings could be moved outdoors safely in your particular space. Irrespective of which zone you backyard in, there are crops that may be began indoors this month and moved outdoors earlier than the tip of Could.

For you different keen seeders, listed here are lists of greens and flowers that may be began indoors in January and February, and moved outdoors in early spring (March – April), if you happen to backyard in zones 4 – 8, or late spring (April – Could), if you happen to backyard in zones 2 – 3. Every chart (tailored from Backyard and Greenhouse’s “Planting Information for Spring Bedding Crops”) lists the approximate indoor beginning date, the germination temperature wanted, the seed’s required situations, and the approximate variety of days till germination.

Species Seeding Date Temperature Days to Germination
Chives Jan 29 70 F 10
Head Lettuce Feb 25 70 F 7
Onion Jan 15 70 F 10

Rouge D'Hiver Romaine lettuceThe planting dates are primarily based on John West’s expertise in Denver, Colorado (40 levels north latitude with a 5000-foot elevation), so the planting occasions can be appropriate for many northern climates. John makes use of an assumed planting date of April 15 for “early spring.” If you happen to dwell in zone 5 or above, you may need to seed two to 3 weeks earlier if you happen to like taking probabilities. Seed listed as needing darkish for germination will germinate in shiny gentle situations (reminiscent of in a shiny window, greenhouse, or below fluorescent lights positioned not more than six inches immediately over the flats) in the event that they’re coated to a number of occasions their thickness. Seed listed as requiring gentle must be uncovered and in shiny gentle.

Keep in mind; the seed dates are approximate. If you happen to haven’t seeded Chives or Onions but, this doesn’t imply that it’s too late. You’ll discover from the chart that these three greens are ultimate seeding companions, as all of them want the identical germination temperature.

I truly begin my lettuce (together with mesclun) a bit sooner than this, as I like the tender younger greens. I seed immediately into massive shallow clay pots, which I put out on my sheltered balcony after the greens have gotten large enough, as home temperatures trigger lettuce to wilt. In her 1996 Gardening Calendar, Helen Chestnut has one other nice thought for harvesting spring lettuce early; she recommends beginning leaf and butter lettuce every now and then transplanting it into a chilly body or plastic tunnel in early March… sowing seed radish, spinach, and bok choy immediately into the body or tunnel when the lettuce is transplanted.


I admit I’m a sucker for a reasonably bloom. This desk is organized by germination temperature, moderately than alphabetically, to make it simpler to group seeds.

Species Seeding Date Temperature Seed Requires Days to Germination
Aquilegia Jan 1 55 Mild 30
Armeria Feb 12 55 Darkish 10
Candytuft Feb 25 55 Coated 20
Larkspur Feb 12 55 Darkish 21
Myosotis Jan 29 55 Coated 8
Penstemon Feb 12 55 Mild 10
Achillea Feb 25 60 Coated 10
Centranthus Feb 25 60 Coated 10
Dianthus (Candy William) Feb 12 60 Coated 5
Pedilanthus(Jacob’s Ladder) Feb 12 60 Coated 20
Poppy Feb 25 60 Uncovered 15
Scabiosa (Per) Feb 12 60 Coated 15
Alyssum (Per) Jan 29 70 Coated 25
Cheiranthus Feb 25 70 Coated 10
Geum Feb 12 70 Coated 28
Linaria Feb 25 70 Coated 10
Nierembergia Feb 25 70 Coated 15
Nigella Feb 25 70 Coated 8
Pansy Jan 29 70 Coated 10

Whereas there are a lot of different flower seeds that may be began in February, this record solely consists of the powerful or semi-hardy ones that may be planted outdoors in early spring, so that you don’t want to fret about conserving them alive indoors for an additional month or two whilst you’re ready for the temperatures outdoors to climb. You different Basil and zinnia lovers know you’ll have to attend one other month or two to get these tender warmth lovers going!

However in case you have sufficient windowsill house or some develop lights arrange, you can begin your indoor seeding program straight away.Blissful sowing!

Susan Ward is a contract author dwelling in Comox, B.C. who has a ardour for gardening. She is the Suite101 Editor for Gardening in B.C. and writes for magazines reminiscent of BackHome.

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