Pre-plant vegetables in February – why it is so useful and what vegetables are particularly suitable for this, we explain in this article. If you can’t wait to get your hands in the soil, you don’t have to wait any longer – February is a great month to plant some of your favorite vegetables! Pre-planting vegetables from seed is what most experts recommend because seeds need 6-8 weeks of growing time before they can be moved outdoors. This is why pre-planting is so important .
Table of Contents
- Preplanting vegetables: What varieties can be planted indoors?
- Vegetables for direct sowing in February
Pre-planting vegetables: What varieties can be planted in the house?
For many of us, growing vegetables at home is becoming more and more attractive. When we grow our own plants, we save ourselves a trip to the supermarket and eat healthy every day. Here’s our list of the best vegetables for your indoor or outdoor garden.
Sow kale in February
Easy to grow, kale with its superfood qualities is a must-have in your vegetable collection. Although hardy, kale seeds should be planted indoors during the winter because it’s too cool outside to germinate.
Sow the seeds indoors in 7-cm pots of 2-3 seeds, then thin them out after germination to get the healthiest seedlings. Place them on a sunny windowsill. Seeds can also be sown outdoors, but in warmer weather, and will need to be transplanted again 6-8 weeks later. The seedlings should be planted firmly in moist but well-drained soil, in full sun or partial shade.
It is helpful for the plants to have well-composted manure mixed into the soil before planting. A good layer of mulch is also helpful to keep the plants moist and weed-free. Remove all flower sprouts to encourage the formation of very healthy leaves.
Planting chili: how to grow this vegetable in advance.
There are thousands of varieties of peppers that can be grown in a wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes and heat levels – from mild to extremely hot. Many have a unique flavor, some a hint of lemon and others a fruitier taste.
Many varieties of chilies are available commercially, but if you grow your own, you will have a much wider selection. They are very easy to grow from seed and grow best in containers, which means they are ideal for a sunny patio or balcony. You can also buy ready-made chili plants at the garden center in the spring.
Sow chili seeds indoors in January or early February if you have a heated room, or starting in March if you don’t. Plant the seedlings in individual 7.5 cm pots as soon as the first true leaves appear. Then plant them in 30-cm plant pots with peat-free, multipurpose soil.
Wait until there is no danger of frost before moving the plants to their final outdoor location in a sunny spot. Once the plants begin to bloom, fertilize them weekly with a potassium-rich fertilizer. Grow the hottest varieties in a greenhouse. Chilies are tender plants and may not survive the winter. It is best to sow seeds for new plants each year.
Trivia: The heat of a chile is measured by the Scoville scale, a test developed in 1912 in which the number of Scovilles is determined by the amount of water required to dilute a chile solution before a taster can no longer recognize the chile. Today, the tests are performed by machines. A score of about 3000 is considered hot, with record chilies such as “Carolina Reaper” exceeding the two-million mark.
Advance vegetables: How eggplants germinate as early as February
Eggplant is a delicious Mediterranean produce used in numerous dishes. Eggplants can be grilled, roasted and stuffed. Just like chilies, eggplants are easy to grow if you create the right conditions. They need a good, rich and moist soil, plenty of sun and heat. A sunny greenhouse or windowsill is ideal for them.
Eggplants need a long growing season. Therefore, it is best to sow the seeds as early as January or early February in moist, peat-free multipurpose soil and store them in a heated greenhouse under light. If you don’t have a heated nursery, sow the seeds in March. Remove the seedlings and transplant them into individual 7.5-cm pots as soon as the first true leaves appear. Finally, plant them in the ground or individually in 30-cm pots with peat-free multipurpose compost. If you are growing eggplants outdoors, wait until there is no danger of frost before moving them to their final location.
Cut off the tops of the main shoots of eggplants when they reach a height of 30 inches to encourage the development of side shoots. Once the plants begin to flower, fertilize them weekly with a potassium-rich fertilizer and spray them with water to stimulate fruiting. When five or six fruits have appeared, remove the remaining fruits. Larger varieties may need to be supported, especially when the fruit is ripe. Keep the plants well watered and mulch them.
Growing basil on the windowsill
Basil is not a vegetable, but since it can be used in so many ways, it should not be missed when sowing in February. Basil is a versatile annual herb , used in pasta sauces, pizzas, salads and Thai curries. Sweet basil is widely available on supermarket shelves, but there are many other interesting varieties to try if you grow your own.
Sow basil seeds from late February into the summer for a continuous harvest. When the plants are large enough to handle, plant them in individual pots. Water sparingly – basil does not like too much moisture. Collect the leaves individually rather than cutting the plant with scissors, as this will allow new leaves to grow.
Grow basil in well-drained, fertile soil in a warm, sheltered location away from direct midday sun. To get a high-quality crop that lasts from early spring to mid-fall, it’s best to grow basil in a container. Place your seeds in pots of moist, peat-free all-purpose soil on a warm but not sunny windowsill.
When the seedlings are large enough to handle, transfer them to individual pots filled with peat-free potting soil. Move them outdoors in early summer after the last frost. To acclimate them to outdoor conditions, place them in a sheltered, lightly shaded area during the day and bring them back at night. Do this every day for about two weeks.
Pre-plant vegetables: Planting tomatoes in February
Tomatoes can be purchased as seedlings, but if you want to try some of the more unusual varieties, it pays to grow tomatoes from seed.
What to consider when growing tomatoes, you will learn in this article .
Vegetables for direct sowing in February
While most vegetable seeds are suitable for sowing indoors, others tolerate the cold quite well and are better sown directly in the garden. Here are some hardy vegetables you can direct sow this month: