Fruit & vegetable growing guide for February
11th March 2022
Although the last of the winter months, February can still end up being one of the coldest months of the year and you, therefore, need to pay attention to the weather in your area. No matter what weather you end up experiencing, there are lots of jobs in the garden that you can do.
As the month can experience a variety of weather, from glorious sunshine to extreme cold spells, if you suffer from a mobility impairment and you need to use items such as a walking aid, walk in baths or other forms of equipment, you will need to be cautious of potential patches of ice and waterlogged ground when you are out in your garden.
This guide looks at the vegetables to plant in February in the UK and the fruit you can also plant as well as the other jobs you can consider doing throughout the month.
Vegetables to plant in February in the UK
There are plenty of vegetables to plant in February in the UK both indoors and outdoors. Read on to find out which vegetables you can start planting.
In February it will be a bit too cold for planting herbs in your garden, but to get a head-start you can grow seedlings on sunny windowsills and then plant them into the garden at a later date. The likes of Coriander, Dill or Parsley are all herbs you can look at planting indoors in February before moving them outside when the weather gets warmer.
Catherine Hughes, the home & garden lifestyle blogger behind Growing Family, says growing herbs is easy and something that will save you money as well.
“Herbs are another good candidate for growing on a windowsill indoors at this time of year. Choosing varieties that you use regularly in your cooking will give dishes a healthy flavour boost while also saving you money.”
READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for January
It is still slightly early to plant potatoes outside, but something you should be looking to do is to chit them, which is a process of pre-sprouting them before planting. You can then put your seed potatoes in a cool, frost-free place that isn’t in direct sunlight but does get some light.
Sarah Carter, the writer of the food blog Lets Grow Cook, recommends chitting potatoes. She said: “Don’t make it more difficult than you need to when growing fruit and veg in February. Pick easy to grow veg that you’ll eat, start them off inside – and save the outdoor work for when the weather is warmer and more stable! You can ‘chit’ – or start seed potatoes inside so that they’re off to a good start – growing potatoes in bags is a fab way to protect them against the elements.”
To chit your potatoes you will need to place the seed potatoes in seed trays or egg boxes and place them in each compartment of the tray or box. When you put them into the tray you will need to ensure the rose end is facing upwards as this will form the sprouts or shoots. You then need to label the potato seeds and find a location to put them.
Edible mushrooms can be grown in February, but they will need to be grown indoors with controlled growing conditions. Mushrooms can be overwintered during the coldest winter months so you can benefit from early crops when the weather gets warmer.
Sarah Carter speaks about growing mushrooms indoors: “If you’re looking for fresh veg – try growing mushrooms indoors - it’s really easy and you can see results in just a few weeks! All of these are easy vegetables to grow, and you won’t need to go out in the cold and wet to get them started either!”
There are many different types of mushrooms that you can grow, but ones that work well in the winter months are Common Oyster, Velvet Shank and Wood Ears.
READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for December
Advice says that garlic should be planted from October to February, and it grows best when sown in well-drained soil that is located in a sunny area of your garden.
But why should garlic be sown during these winter months? Garlic bulbs need a chilling period where temperatures are below 10C, which is known as vernalisation’, as this helps the formation of individual cloves.
Thompson & Morgan, the expert garden retailer, has spoken about growing garlic and the things you need to consider. They said: “Garlic cloves are best planted between November and April, although you will generally get a bigger and better crop if you plant in the autumn. Many gardeners swear by planting before Christmas to get the best results.
“Garlic bulbs are sold according to their suitability for spring or autumn planting, so check before you plant. Growing garlic from seed isn’t currently possible for home gardeners because viable seed is tricky to produce.”
Broad beans are another vegetable that can be easily sown in late winter, either indoors or outdoors so long as they are covered to protect them against any frosts. Something that you do need to consider is the variety of broad beans you buy as they can differ in size and crop at different times.
If you live in milder parts of the UK, you might be able to sow broad beans direct into the ground in your garden, but you should use a hardy variety and protect young plants with a fleece or cloches during cold spells. You should choose a sunny and sheltered area in your vegetable patch and before sowing, you should weed thoroughly and fork in garden compost. Alternatively, you can sow the broad beans indoors, whether that is in a greenhouse, shed or on a windowsill.
READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for November
Parsnips are another vegetable that you can sow in February and you can also sow them in March and April. What is great about them is the fact that they are easy to grow, need very little maintenance and they can even be left in the ground until you are ready to use them.
Parsnips are a great vegetable to grow in your garden as they can be used in a whole host of different recipes, from a roast dinner to stews and casseroles.
Garden Organic, whose aim is to get everyone growing the organic way, advises that you sow parsnips in the garden in February.
“If the soil has warmed up towards the end of February, then try sowing parsnips. In more exposed and northern areas it might be best to wait until March or later. ‘Avonresister’ is an early maturing variety and has very good resistance to canker.”
All the fruits you can plant in February
- Herbs such as coriander, dill or parsley
- Broad beans
- Jerusalem artichokes
READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for October
Fruit to plant in February in the UK
Despite February being a cold season with frosts and the ground freezing still a high possibility, you should be considering what fruit to plant. The fruits you can plant in February range from aubergines, chillies and peppers (these are officially fruits) and fruit trees. Read on to find out more about the fruit to plant in February.
Chillies, peppers and aubergines
Although considered vegetables by many, chillies, peppers and aubergines are actually a fruit as they aren’t part of the plant itself, but are a reproductive part growing from the plant.
There are many different types of chillies and peppers that you can grow, and you can pick varieties depending on what you want whether that be a certain coloured pepper or a hot or mild chilli. Peppers, chillies and aubergines are versatile and can be grown on sunny windowsills, in a greenhouse or a heated propagator under a growing light.
Rachel Bustin, the blogger behind Home In The Pastures, said: “If you have an undercover area for planting, such as a greenhouse or a warm conservatory, you can get on with sowing your seeds in February. Chillies, peppers, aubergines and tomatoes are great fruits to start with. They will benefit from the extra growing time, and you will maximise your harvesting season.”
Catherine Hughes from Growing Family loves growing Chillies and she shared some tips: “Chillies are fun to grow yourself, and even one plant in a pot can give you a bumper harvest which you can then dry or freeze. Chillies are quite slow-growing plants, so if you’d like to grow them from seed now is a good time to start them off. They like warm temperatures, so will need a sunny windowsill indoors until the plants are established, at which point you can transfer them to a greenhouse.”
Bare rooted trees, bushes, canes and vines
If the soil isn’t frozen you should look to plant fruit trees, bushes, canes and vines in February. Raspberries, blackberries and other cane fruits are perfect for planting during the month.
When you come to planting the canes, it is recommended that you plant them in the ground that is water retentive but does not become water-logged with the canes planted around 50cm apart with each row around 1.6m apart.
Catherine Hughes says: “Looking ahead to summer fruits, this is a good time to plant raspberry and blackberry canes outdoors. Buy them as bare roots (which is usually cheaper than waiting for established plants), and plant them in rows or pots. Provide some support for the plants to keep all those lovely berries off the ground.”
All the fruits you can plant in February
READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for August
Other gardening jobs to be done in February
There are lots of jobs to be done in the garden in February and one towards the top of your to-do list should be digging over your vegetable patch. If you suffer from mobility problems and need to use aids such as a walking stick or stair lift, you may need help digging over so you can ask a friend or family member. Many gardeners also like to spread lime as this can reduce the acidity of the soil.
If you have a greenhouse, then you should double-check that it is firmly secure and if there are any cracked panes you should replace them. Now is also the time to give your greenhouse a thorough clean and to get rid of anything in there that is of no use.
If you grew potatoes last year, you could check the potato bed to make sure there aren’t any volunteers, which are small leftover potatoes, and remove them as they can pass on disease problems. You can also spread compost or manure on your potato bed to help this year’s batch grow.
Seed trays that are not being used should be washed out and sterilised to give your seedlings the best possible start.
Rachel Bustin is a keen gardener and she told us about some other jobs she recommends doing at this time of the year. She says: “If you don't have any inside areas for sowing your seeds just yet, don't worry! You can get on with weeding the vegetable beds and preparing them for sowing when the weather warms up. Adding a layer of compost will help to feed the soil for when you are ready.”
READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for July
Crops that are ready to be harvested in February
- Brussel Sprouts
This article looks at just some of the fruit and vegetables you can plant in February and the jobs you should consider doing during the month. For more tips and blogs like this, head to our news section.
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.