February: What to start in the green house.


  • Sow lobelia in a heated propagator.

  • Plant begonia tubers in pots of moist compost and cover with a little more compost. Keep them in a bright, frost-free position.

  • Sow antirrhinums (snapdragons) and laurentia now to ensure early flowering.

  • Start dahlia tubers into growth by planting them in pots of compost, maintaining a minimum temperature of 10 degrees celsius.

  • Sow sweet peas in a glasshouse, cold frame or a cool place indoors. Soak sweet pea seeds in tepid water overnight before planting them, to speed up germination.

  • Grow your own chrysanthemum plants from seed – start them off now in the greenhouse for the earliest blooms.

  • Sow geraniums (pelargoniums) indoors now for earlier flowers.

  • Plant or pot on hardwood cuttings taken last year.

  • Pot on rooted cuttings of tender perennial plants taken last summer.

The veggies and herbs.

  • Start growing (chitting) early potatoes on a windowsill indoors.

  • Start sowing cucumber and tomato seeds for the greenhouse, in warm conditions.

  • Sow peas – try sowing them in upcycled guttering with drainage holes drilled in the bottom.

  • Start asparagus pea seeds under cover for planting out in late spring.

  • Sow aubergine seeds now for indoor crops this summer.

  • Grow your own basil on the windowsill to flavour your favourite Italian dishes and fill your kitchen with heady Mediterranean aromas.

  • Start early sowings of brassicas under cover. Try Brussels sprouts, summer cabbage, cauliflower 'All the Year Round', and calabrese 'Aquiles'.

  • Start slow-growing celeriac seeds now under cover.

  • Try bolt-resistant varieties of celery, such as 'Lathom Self Blanching', for early sowings.

  • Sow leeks under cover – these vegetables need a long growing season.

  • Try growing really large onions this year – sow 'Bunton's Showstopper' and 'Ailsa Craig' indoors now.

  • Sow sweet peppers for growing on in a heated greenhouse. Always provide plenty of warmth.

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