Looking out of the window as the wind and rain pelts against it, it’s hard to imagine a vegetable plot or planters overflowing with edible crops. But this is the best time to plan and prepare. February can be one of the wildest months of the year, with soil wet and temperatures low, it is advisable to use our suggestions as a guide.
If the ground is workable however and neither waterlogged or frozen potted fruit trees, soft fruit canes and bushes can be planted. Rhubarb also benefits from an early start.
If you are lucky enough to have a heated greenhouse or propagator a variety of seeds can be started off including cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, broccoli, peas, beans and many more.
Select a multi-celled tray and using correct compost, a seed and cutting compost is best as this will have the right balance of feed and drainage. Some gardeners prefer to make up their own mixes using a soil based compost and perlite, with a thin layer of vermiculite to top off. Once seedlings establish and the threat of frost has gone, transplant the sturdiest to single pots to grow on before transplanting into their allocated space outside.
If space is an issue choose those varieties which you really want to grow and harvest, its easy to get carried away. Remember a number of plants including swiss chard, broad beans, garlic, shallots, onion sets and potatoes can be planted in open ground as soon as the weather turns milder and salad crops grow so quickly that they can be left for repeat planting later on in the season and still produce a plentiful supply.