Awaiting spring: February's gardening strategies

As the new growing season draws ever closer, many gardeners are eager to start sowing seeds into the soil, looking forward to watching their green friends grow. However, it's not as straightforward as it might seem. Let's delve into the nuances of growing plants at the end of winter: what can't be planted right now, and what must be sown without delay.

The risks of planting seeds too early

Gardeners are filled with anticipation for the upcoming planting season. However, beginning too early can pose some risks to your future plants.

One of the critical factors for seed germination and the early growth of plants is light. In the waning days of winter and early spring, the amount of sunlight can be insufficient for the healthy growth of young plants. While this issue can be mitigated by using grow lights, which simulate sunlight and encourage plant growth, it's essential to consider whether you're prepared to invest in this additional equipment.

Moreover, starting seeds too early, particularly for outdoor crops, carries the risk of the plants becoming too large for their indoor pots before it's safe to transfer them outside. This is because the soil in your garden may not be warm or dry enough to welcome new plants, and the external environmental conditions might still pose a threat to the young seedlings' survival. 

Key considerations for planting seeds in February

Embarking on the seed planting journey in February requires a thoughtful approach, especially when considering the varying needs of different plant varieties. A crucial factor to keep in mind is the length of the vegetative period specific to each variety. This period can greatly influence the timing of planting.

It's fascinating to note that even within the same species, different varieties of the same plant can have significantly diverse vegetative periods. This variation means that while one variety may thrive when sown in February, another might need a later start to align with its growth cycle and the external environmental conditions it requires for optimal development.

Another critical aspect to consider is the amount of daylight available. During the early parts of the year, the natural light might not be sufficient for the healthy growth of certain plants. This is where grow lights can come into play, offering a solution by supplementing natural sunlight and ensuring your plants receive the necessary amount of light for photosynthesis and growth.

However, not everyone might be inclined or able to purchase grow lights or manage the additional care they entail. If you find yourself in this situation, it might be wise to wait until the natural daylight hours extend. As the days grow longer into the spring, the increased sunlight can provide a more conducive environment for seed germination and young plant growth without the need for artificial light sources.

Three plants with the longest growing priods

When planning your garden, considering the growing period of each plant is crucial. Among the plants that take a more extended period to mature from seeds are onions, lavender, and strawberries. Each of these requires specific care and conditions to thrive, including the amount of daily light they need and how to care for them as they grow.


Growing onions from seeds can be a rewarding but lengthy process. Onions require plenty of light; about 12-14 hours of daylight is ideal for their growth. This long light requirement often means they are one of the first plants to be sown in the growing season.

Young onion plants need consistent watering but be cautious of overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. Onions can also be grown indoors, provided they receive enough light, making them a versatile addition to your gardening endeavors.


Lavender, with its fragrant flowers and beautiful appearance, is another plant that takes patience and time to grow from seed. Lavender seeds need about 8-10 hours of sunlight daily to flourish. They require well-draining soil and should not be overwatered, as lavender is drought-resistant and thrives in dryer conditions.

Growing lavender indoors is possible and can bring a lovely scent to your home, but ensure it gets plenty of light and air circulation to mimic its natural growing conditions.


Strawberries might seem like a straightforward plant to grow, but starting them from seeds can be a lengthy process. They need around 8 hours of daylight to grow well. Strawberry plants prefer moist, well-drained soil and should be kept in an area that receives ample sunlight.

While strawberries are typically grown outdoors, it's possible to grow them indoors in containers, provided they get enough light. This approach can yield a fresh supply of strawberries right from your windowsill.

Grow microgreen!

For gardening enthusiasts eager to get their hands in the soil, regardless of the season, growing microgreens presents an excellent solution. Microgreens are young vegetable greens harvested just after the first leaves have developed. They are not only a quick and straightforward way to produce fresh greens at home but also a year-round gardening activity that can satisfy the urge to cultivate and nurture plants.

Microgreens can be grown from a wide variety of seeds, including but not limited to lettuce, watercress, radish, beet, and basil. These tiny greens pack a nutritional punch, often containing higher vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant levels than their mature counterparts. What makes microgreens particularly appealing is their rapid growth cycle. Most varieties are ready to harvest in just 1 to 2 weeks after planting, providing almost instant gratification for the gardener.

As we edge closer to spring, let this time of preparation and planning remind us of the cycles of nature. The slow, thoughtful start to the season ensures that when the time is right, our gardens will burst into life, reflecting the care and consideration poured into every seed and seedling.

Let this February be a time of anticipation, preparation, and the beginning of a gardening journey that brings satisfaction and bounty in the seasons to come. Embrace the promise of spring, and let the magic of growing guide you through the end of winter and into the abundance of the year ahead.