Although during this month we can often see the first signs of spring appearing with winter blooms popping up in gardens and along hedgerows, February can be an unpredictable month weather-wise meaning that you have to be careful about what you start to plant outside and when (although it is generally better to be a little patient and wait until March).
Providing that the conditions are right and the ground is warm enough (a good indication of this is when the grass has started to grow) hardy seeds can be planted outdoors, but should be sewn under cover to protect them from any further frosty spells. If you live in an area with clay soil, then it might be best to wait a couple a weeks to let the ground warm-up.
However, planting seeds indoors to transport outside later-on is well under way and will give you a good head-start when the warmer weather begins to come our way in early to mid March. The first job to do is to give all your pots and seed trays a good clean with hot, soapy water to ensure they are ready for the seeds and check that you have everything you need to get going.
Next on the list is to decide what you are going to grow. If you are new to growing vegetables, it is better to choose a few and look after them rather than trying to do too much all at once which will probably lead to numerous plants not growing successfully (starting with five different kinds is a good number). Onions and potatoes are a good place to start, along with salad vegetables.
Other seeds that can be sewn early inside are peas, runner beans, lettuce and beetroot. They should be planted in small pots on a warm window using organic compost and given plenty of water (but not too much so they end up drowning...a water squirter works well for this). To ensure that you have a good supply when they start to grow, it is better to plant them in batches of ten each, a couple of weeks apart.
February at a glance:
Scrub pots and seed trays with hot, soapy water.
Choose a few (five is good) different plants to grow.
Plant seeds in small batches on warm windowsills.
Label pots including the date the seeds were planted.
Water well and rotate seed trays, keeping an eye on the weather.