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!
This post may contain affiliate links, clicking on an affiliate link won’t cost you any extra and will allow Stoney Acres to earn a small commission on any of your purchases.
This Post is great for Zones 5 and 6, are you looking for planting guides for a different 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
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.
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 to 8 weeks.
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. 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 out in the early spring. (And it tastes better)
Don’t forget to plant a few tatsoi, mizuna or Bok Choy! These plants do great in the spring and are very frost tolerant!
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 hoop house if so you can start earlier.
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. 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.
Broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, cabbage, collards, and Brussels sprouts. Look for hardy varieties.
When to plant
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 wall of water, or similar heat cap. You can plant a few tomatoes now, but this won’t be all of your plants for the season.
When to plant
Zone 7 – Get some tomatoes started early in February to go out under protection, and start more 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 walls of water.
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 the get some started!!
This addition to the list comes from a reminder from a reader, Michelle! Most celery is a long season crop, and need 140 to 150 days of mostly cool weather to grow. So getting celery started 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.
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)
In addition to what you listed I’ll be starting celery. Grew it for the first time last year and it turned out great… Although maybe a bit smaller than expected. I had gotten a late start on seed starting for them and then the weeds shaded it a bit during the summer. Thanks!
Michelle, Celery is a great suggestion. I always seem to get mine started to late. I will add it to the post! Thanks for the idea!
I replant the celery stub from the stuff I buy in the store. It grows great, and reseeds itself if left all season. Last year I had a ton of celery seed from 1 plant ‘scrap’. I’m sure I’ll be finding little celeries out in the garden this spring.
I love gardening, but I always start too late. When you start your seedlings, are they indoors or outdoors? If indoors is a garage or basement acceptable? (my kitchen windowsill is only so big)
Valerie, this post is about starting indoors. A garage or basement would be perfectly fine! If I could I would use our basement, but no space, so our seed starting set up is in the garage.
My seed starting set-up is in my garage too. My garage is unattached and unheated (I’m zone 5/6A) so I use heat mats.
I grow underground plants in my basement in pots, potatoes, carrots, Onion, ect! Works great year round!
I just planted 2 containers of lettuce and 2 of carrots. I also had a very good celery crop last yr and it was my first time. I made celery salt and gave some away and froze the rest. Happy Gardening!
You’re talking about starting them this early if you have grow lights.. right? In windows, even south windows, seedlings just grow weak and leggy in my experience.
Yes with lights!
Very helpful! We have gardened every year since I can remember. But my parents always bought their seedlings, I like to start my own, and have been looking for a guide on when to start everything. I have just been winging it.
Thank you very much. I also shared this with a friend as we both like to garden best we can at our age! We give the masses of other seedlings to charity shops to sell (we cut down our milk cartons – less rubbish too) they go like hot cakes,
This was a great and informative post. Thank you for all the help and hard work you put into it.
Anything for us 6bers?
This guide will work for you. There really isn’t any practical difference between 6a and 6b, so you can use this guide.
I still wonder why squashes and cucurbits are grown as a bedding plant rather than being direct sowm. Noted that you did not mention peppers. Thats good actually, l think there is no benefit to planting them early since unlike tomatoes there is no spring rush for a crop which is pollinated in the heat and ripens just before frost. I plant them in April after the tomatoes are out of the greenhouse.
Do you ever give advice for when to plant flowering plants? How to propagate, type of soil, best type of grow lights? How long to have grow light on & any other tips you all have. Thanks!
I’m not a big flower grower, for the most part though the same principals apply as with vegetables. Any fluorescent or LED tube light should be fine. No need to go with the expensive grow lights. Lights should be on for 14 to 16 hours per day.
This is encouraging! I got a couple of grow lights for Christmas. Would you say it would be better to start in garage with heater set at 50° or basement at closer to 65°? Thanks!
If I had my choice I would go inside in the basement. Unfortunately, I don’t have space in the basement right now, maybe once our kids start moving out. 🙂