The 10 day weather forecast for our region looks practically tropical when compared to the recent polar vortex! I know the sunshine and light-jacket only needed weather has given me the gardening bug. I’m six months pregnant right now, and I promised myself that I would cut back on my garden this year to make time for baby. Weather like this in February, however, and plans to be reasonable get thrown out the door.
It’s important to not get too excited, though, as winter has a way of making sudden appearances this time of year. We’ll have to live with the threat of hard freezes at least until the end of April. That being said, the adventurous among you may want to try planting the following frost tolerant spring crops in mid or late February:
- Arugula, Fava beans, Peas, Lettuce, Spinach
These crops will germinate in cooler soils, but if your soil is too cold you may experience slow or poor germination rates. With a simple soil thermometer you can measure soil temps and compare them to this vegetable germination chart. If your soils are too cold for planting, you can try out these tips for warming up your garden in the spring.
What to Start Indoors
If you are set up to start seeds indoors, the following are good to start in early February:
- Cabbage, Celery, Collards, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Onions, Parsley and Spinach
During the later part of the month (Feb 20th and onward) you can get these crops going indoors:
- Artichoke, Beets, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Swisschard
Starting seeds indoors is a great way to save money in your garden, because seeds costs pennies compared to plant starts from the nursery. Mother Earth News has a great article on how to get started.