Brighter mornings and sunshine may be getting us in the mood for spring, but with the lingering frost, it’s hard to rely on good growing conditions for plants. With the right seed choices and the right growing spots, however, you can make sure you enjoy a fruitful harvest that lasts you right into the summer months. These are our top picks for fruit, veg and herbs that are perfect for potting and planting this February.
Set up a tray on your windowsill or make space in an outdoor greenhouse to seal in the warmth and provide shelter for delicate seedlings.Tomatoes
Start sowing the seeds for these now, ideally in grow bags placed on the ground in your greenhouse. Simply sprinkle the seed thinly on the surface of good quality compost, cover with a little extra compost and water lightly. When they’re ready, carefully pot out but keep them protected from any late frost or cold winds.Basil
Perfect for growing on the windowsill, basil is best kept indoors and within reach, ready to add to your favourite Italian suppers. You can use an indoor propagator set to seal in the warmth, then pot when they’ve germinated. Basil doesn’t do well in wet soil, so just keep it lightly moist.
A cold frame is a wooden box with a lid you can keep outdoors for extra shelter for outdoor growing. It’s ideal for seedlings which can survive without the warmth of the greenhouse.Salads leaves or lettuce
A staple of healthy lunches and dinners, salad leaves are great for growing at home. Sow the seeds in the cold frame in late February/early March, ready for a harvest throughout the summer.
Hardier than some other garden vegetables, broad beans can easily survive outdoors in February, ready for a full harvest in spring. Choose a well-drained spot and sow them 2‒3 inches deep, then water generously when they first start to show.Garlic
A kitchen favourite, garlic is an easy ingredient to grow and will be ready in July if planted now. The cloves will need well-drained soil in an area that gets plenty of sunlight. Plant them 3‒4cm below the surface and water only during dry periods.