This February Seed Starting Schedule is targeted for those of you that live in the colder northern zones. (Zones 3 to 7). If you live in any of these Zones then February is the month to get serious about starting this year’s seedlings!
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In This Article…
- What is my Garden Zone?
- February Seed Starting Schedule
- What leafy greens seeds can I start in February?
- What Cabbage family seeds can I start in February?
- Can I start Tomato seedlings in February?
- Veggies to directly plant in the Garden
What is my Garden Zone?
I have done my best to make this February seed starting schedule as general as I can. Keep in mind that I can’t be all things to everyone. I’ve tried to give you a guide for each of the colder zones (zones 3 to 7).
Don’t know your zone? Click here. This Post is a great overview for zones 3-7 but for a better detailed list of what to plant in February look at my planting guides for each zone. You will find them here:
- February Planting Guide Zones 9 & 10
- What to Plant in February Zones 7 & 8
- Gardening in February Zones 3 & 4
This year I have also filmed a series of YouTube videos to help you understand even better what seedlings you can start this month. Here’s the video for those of you that live in Zones 5 & 6.
February Seed Starting Schedule
What to plant in February? There may be snow outside but you can start gardening by sowing seeds indoors. There are a lot of vegetables that can be started this month.
My February seed starting schedule always starts with some leafy greens and ends with the first of my tomatoes. No matter where you live you can put together your own February seed starting schedule by deciding when you want to plant outdoors and then counting back 6-8 weeks.
This will give you a good date on when to start seeds. However, you never want your seedlings in pots for more than 8 weeks, 6 weeks is usually better. So use that as your main guide when deciding what and when to plant.
I know a lot of people suggest using a sunny windowsill to start seeds but I have found that it is never enough light to produce healthy starts so to learn a little more about starting seedlings check out this post. Want to learn a lot more about seed starting? Check out my video course!
Anyone’s February seed starting schedule begins with some greens. The following are some ideas of varieties you can plant and when to get them started.
Look for hardy varieties, leaf lettuces do better than head lettuces this early in the year. Also despite the name summer crisp lettuces also do well in the early spring.
Spinach is very hardy and does well when planted early. Remember to use larger containers for spinach to help those tap roots transplant well.
Swiss Chard seedlings transplant well and are very hardy.
This nutritional powerhouse does very well when transplanted in the early spring. It tastes better and sweeter when it has been frozen a few times.
Mustard seeds can also be started this month and will give you a good head start on these greens in the spring.
Don’t forget to plant a few tatsoi, mizuna or Bok Choy! These plants do great in the spring and are very frost tolerant!
There are also some herbs that can be planted in February they include
These are all frost-hardy and can be transplanted to the garden up to 4 weeks before your last frost date. Other herbs like basil, thyme, and oregano need to wait until next month to be planted.
Planting times for leafy greens
- Zone 7 – You can start in early February planting seedlings for any of these greens.
- Zones 5/6 – February 15th is a good target date unless you have a greenhouse or a hoop house so you can start earlier.
- For example, if you want to plant lettuce outside 0n April 15 so you can start harvesting it in May then you would want to start those lettuce seeds on February 15th.
- Zones 3/4 – You can get some leafy green seedlings started late in February, but you should plan on protecting them with a hoop house or cold frame when they go out to the garden.
Cole crops (Cabbage family)
I like to get all of my Cole family crops out as early as I can since in my area I don’t have a long growing season for Cole crops. With just a little protection from a hoop house or even some fabric row cover these hardy plants will do very well when planted in early spring in a sunny spot.
Broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, cabbage, collards, and Brussels sprouts. Look for hardy varieties.
When to plant seeds for the cabbage family?
- Zone 7 – you can plant any time in February, the earlier the better!
- Zones 5/6 – Around February 15th is the best time to get these out (plan on protecting young plants with row fabric)
- Zones 3/4 – You might be able to sneak a few seedlings in at the end of February. But more likely you guys will need to wait till March, sorry!
Yes, you can get some tomato seedlings started in February. These will be cold-hardy varieties that will need the protection of a water-filled cloches. You can plant a few tomatoes now, but this won’t be all of your plants for the season.
When to plant Tomatoes?
- Zone 7 – Get some tomatoes started early in February to go out under protection, and start more at the end of the month as well (remember 6 to 8 weeks before your last frost without protection)
- Zone 5/6 – Mid to late February is a good time to get some tomatoes started but only if you plan on protecting them with water-filled cloches
- Zones 3/4 – Sorry guys it’s just too early for most of you!
Onions and leeks
It’s not too late to get some onions or leeks started indoors. I usually try to get my onions planted about 6 or 7 weeks before my last frost date.
You need around 8 weeks to grow onion seedlings, so if those dates work out still for you, then get them started!!
This addition to the list comes from a reminder from a reader, Michelle! Most celery is a long-season crop, and needs 140 to 150 days of mostly cool weather to grow.
Starting celery in February is also a great idea! I would suggest mid-February for Zones 5,6,7 and wait till late February or early March for Zones 3 & 4.
Vegetable seeds to plant directly in the Garden
There are some vegetable seeds that grow better if you plant them directly in the garden with a light dressing of compost. Keep in mind that these will need to be planted later in the spring when the weather warms up. It is better to not start them as seeds.
Vegetables such as beets, peas, carrots, potatoes, and shallots all do better as direct seed rather than as transplants.
I tried my best to give most of you in the colder climates some ideas of when and what to get planted this month. This February seed starting schedule isn’t perfect but should get you some ideas!
If you are looking for seeds check out Honest Seed Co! You can find their website here: Honest Seed Co.
I would love your input, please comment below about what you are starting in February. Please be sure to include your Zone and what types of protection you use (I.e. cold frame, hoop house, etc)