Spring might not officially begin for another month, but gardeners are in full-on preparation mode for the growing season ahead. If you can’t wait to sink your hands into the dirt, don’t wait any longer—at this point, you can begin planting some of your favorite veggies! There are plenty of seeds that you can start indoors in February, and even a few that you can direct-sow outdoors.
When to Start Seeds Indoors
Starting seeds indoors lets gardeners get a head start on the growing season, so your seedlings are already well-developed by the time you would be direct-seeding the same plants outdoors. When to start seeds indoors depends on how long each seed will take to germinate and when you’ll be able to transplant them into the garden. You’ll need to know when the last expected frost is for your region, and count back from there.
For the sake of those who live near one of our garden center locations, the last frost in Alexandria, VA, is usually in the first or second week of April, and the last frost in Lothian, MD, is generally during the third or fourth week of April. After those dates have passed, it should be safe to transplant seedlings into your garden beds.
Most seeds require about a 6-8 week growing period before they’re ready to be transplanted, which means the bulk of your indoor seeding should happen in February (early-to-mid February for Alexandria, and mid-to-late February for Lothian). Don’t worry if these dates have already passed, though—delaying your indoor seeding by a few weeks will only mean that your seedlings should be transplanted and harvested a few weeks later!
Vegetable Seeds to Start in February
While 6-8 weeks is a general guideline, each vegetable’s timeline and requirements will differ slightly. We recommend checking the seed packets for each different vegetable or plant you pick up for specific instructions and growing timelines. These are the delicious veggies you can expect to start seeding this month:
- Brussels Sprouts
Vegetables to Direct Sow in February
While most vegetable seeds can benefit from indoor starting, others are less bothered by the cold and prefer to be sown directly into your garden. Since they can tolerate some frost, you can go ahead and plant these hardier vegetables as soon as the soil is warm enough to work with. Here are some cold-tolerant veggies that you can direct sow later this month:
- Carrots (early March for our customers in Lothian)
- Chard (early March for our customers in Lothian)
- Radishes (early March for our customers in Lothian)
- Snap Peas
Don’t spend the rest of your winter just waiting for spring to arrive; it’s never too early to start preparing for the next growing season! Why delay growing delicious, hearty vegetables any longer, when you can start your seeds indoors and even direct sow some of them right now? If you’re wondering where to buy seeds in Alexandria, check out our two garden center locations in the area. We also have a flagship location in Lothian for our Maryland customers!