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Seasonal Tips

What to do in February
Seed sowing


February probably marks the first opportunity to so some seeds for the coming year but don’t be too hasty. If it’s cold, as it is this year, you will have to bring them inside and then the danger is that they grow too fast and lanky!


Top tips for seed sowing sowing


  1. Provide heat, warmth and light. If one is missing seeds won’t grow.

  2. Follow the instructions on the seed packet. You’d be surprised how many people don’t!

  3. Seed compost needs to be fine so if you’re not buying a bespoke compost for seeds you will need to sieve your compost. Yes you can buy John Innis seed compost buy you can also by peat free compost which is sustainable and ethical and put it through a cheap garden sieve to obtain the same result!

  4. Fill your seed tray or modules if you are using them to a point well below the rim. If you filled to the top, when you water, compost plus seeds will disappear over the top! Water the compost before you seed it. Good to let seed trays soak up water from the bottom up

  5. Sow the seeds thinly and at this time of year, cover with a thin layer of vermiculite. This provides protection and allows a small amount of light through that many seeds need to germinate.

  6. Gently firm down. Think Monty Don who uses a small tamping down board! Cover with glass, plastic or polythene. You will hardly need to water again until the seeds have germinated.

  7. Don’t forget to label and date the tray or modules.

What can you sow in February?


  1. Seeds that can be sown throughout the year such as radish, rocket, parsley and salad leaves.

  2. Seeds that need a long time to grow to maturity such as chillies and sweet peas.


What else can you get started with?


You can certainly chit seed potatoes and this needs to take place well before potatoes I’ll put in the ground or in bags. Buy potatoes and put them in egg boxes or on a flat dry surface with their eyes ( stubby shoots) upwards and leave them in the light to produce firm shoots.


Seed potatoes are exactly the same as those you would buy from the greengrocer or supermarket but they are guaranteed disease resistant so do use them


You can also plant onion sets if you didn’t do this in autumn. Onion sets are baby onions and they will grow much faster than seed. Some people like to start them in a greenhouse in modules so that they can be put straight in the ground with a head start but that is a matter of taste.

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