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February: Preparing for the Spring garden

February: Preparing for the Spring garden

February is the month to begin preparing for the spring garden and to look forward to spring vegetables.  February is when you need to make sure all of your garden tools are in order and you have ordered your seeds.

It is important to have all this ready before it’s time for the spring garden or you will feel like you’re behind.  There is never a wrong time to start your garden, but most people feel like the spring garden is the right time.

spring garden
Working in the garden

If you haven’t already ordered seed catalogs, do it!  It’s so much more fun than shopping online.  My favorite seed catalog comes from rareseeds.com and I only just received them in the mail.  I’ve been drooling over some of their new varieties and they just started to offer free shipping!  Wohoo!

Spring Garden Vegetables Seeds to start in February

If you aren’t starting seeds yet in your gardening career, I highly suggest it!  I’ll be honest, I’m terrible at it and I usually kill most of my seeds.  Still, every year I’m getting better so hopefully soon I’ll be a pro at it.  

There are so many good reasons to start your own seeds, but my primary motivation is it’s so much cheaper than purchasing transplants!

What vegetable seeds you should be starting in February

Zone 4: 

  • Start onions, leeks and celery seeds to later transplant
  • Start lettuce in sunny windows to grow indoor winter salads

Zones 5-6:

  • Start broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, lettuce, celery, leeks and Brussel sprout seeds

Zones 7-8:

  • Start tomatoes, peppers and eggplant seeds

Zones 9-10:

We get off easy in February.  You need to wait one more month to start your seeds.  I do know of some people who successfully start seeds as early as February in these zones, but it seems like a lot of excessive work to me when you can wait until March and have better success.

Spring Garden Vegetables to plant outdoors

Zones 5-6:  

  • Plant spinach, radishes, peas, fennel, leeks, onions and shallots

Zones 7-8:

  • Plant lettuce, cabbage and onions
  • Plant radishes, lettuce, beets, turnips and spinach seeds every two weeks
  • Plant transplants of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, collards and mustard greens (from seed if you started them earlier or from the store)
  • Plant peas
  • Plant potatoes in trenches

Zone 9:

  • Again, nothing, wait until March

Zone 10: 

  • Beans, corn, cucumbers, melons, squash, peppers and tomatoes, but be ready to protect them from freezes if you’re planting this early!

Is it worth planting your garden in February?

Honestly, it just depends on your location and your preparedness.  If you’re in the cold zones and you have a greenhouse or cold frames then absolutely go for it!  If you don’t then a lot of gardeners will just wait until March or April before planting their spring garden.

February is cold and it will be harder for the plants to survive. On the other hand, there are no pests out and it’s not blazing hot!  

If you’re in zone 10 then go for it you lucky gardeners!  Enjoy February before you melt this summer.

Tools you’ll need for your spring garden

A friend of mine, a mechanical engineer from Ireland, always says “You need the right tool for the job.”  It’s no different for your spring garden.

It’s so difficult to garden, or do any job, if you don’t have the right tools.  It’s also difficult to garden when your tools are poor quality.  There are a few specific tools that are worth the cost to purchase high quality-not just because they will last for years but because it makes your life easier.

What tools should you have for your spring garden?

Garden shears:

Garden shears and lopping shears are absolutely necessary for garden use.  You will need to cut branches for pruning, cloning and plant health.  I use garden shears or lopping shears nearly every day on the farm.

When it comes to purchasing quality, I’m willing to spend the money on shears.  Garden shears are much more comfortable in the hand when they’re high quality and my hands tend to get tired easily.  As for lopping shears, since we have a 4 acre vineyard, I have a tendency to work my loppers to death.

Hand Trowel:

Hand Trowels are another tool that are used almost daily in the spring garden.  You will be digging holes for transplants and, in the spring garden especially, digging up more weeds than you care to think about.  

You could probably get away with a cheap hand trowel, but I promise you they will bend or break within a year or two so at least spend a bit more.  Cheap hand trowels also tend to hurt your hand if you spend any length of time in your spring garden.  There are ergonomic hand trowels made to be extremely comfortable in your hand, but of course they’ll be a bit more pricey.  

Pointy Shovel:

Unsurprisingly, the shovel has an important role in the spring garden.  A lot of gardeners will suggest you spend good money on a shovel.  However, I tend to lose mine.  

I don’t know how I do it, I really don’t.  One day I’m using it in the garden and the next day I’m looking around blankly.  Sometimes it’s my own fault and other times one of our ranch hands borrowed it for another project.  Regardless, the only thing we’ve lost more of are screw drivers and pliers.  

I do not buy expensive shovels.

Hoes:

I haven’t found much use for hoes.  When the weeds are big enough to be useful, the vegetable plants are also big and I have a tendency to get my vegetables along with my weeds.

Having said that, I do own some and occasionally use them.  I also know of other gardeners who couldn’t live without them.  

I suggest getting a scuffle or stirrup style hoe.

Garden Fork:

I looooooove love love my garden fork.  I saw it in a youtube review and it sounded so good I bought it right away.  It’s been completely worth the purchase.

Garden forks are used to loosen the soil without turning it over. Soil contains an entire eco system that is very specific as to the depth the soil communities live at.  When you turn soil over with a plow or a shovel, you are destroying this eco system.  An eco system, I should point out, that your vegetables rely on as well as contributes to.

Garden forks are also easier on your back and the older I get, the more I appreciate that!

The Spring Garden

In all zones, February is a preparing month.  Some zones are lucky enough to be planting-indoors and out, but it’s still a slow and quiet month for gardening.  The spring garden is coming soon in all its blazing glory so take advantage of quiet February to plan your garden layout, get your seeds, prepare your tools and be ready for the spring garden.

What are you planting or starting this month?  Any February tips?

Hey! This post might have some affiliate links. That means if you click a link and buy something, we make money-and it doesn’t even cost you anything! Pretty cool right?

February is the month to begin preparing for the spring garden and to look forward to spring vegetables. Get your tools, get your seeds and get started!

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Regina

We had so much fun hanging out at this farm. I highly recommend a visit here!!
Flip Flop Ranch
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2020-01-28T19:36:01-08:00
We had so much fun hanging out at this farm. I highly recommend a visit here!!

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Flip Flop Ranch
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2020-01-28T19:37:56-08:00

Aaron

Come here if you're okay with getting up close with animals! That's what makes the experience great.

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Flip Flop Ranch
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2020-01-28T19:39:27-08:00

Suzie

This was an awesome experience to have! Would highly recommend!

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We had such a great time! It was a beautiful drive out to the farm and was so fun.

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Flip Flop Ranch
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2019-10-27T04:12:15-08:00

Cecelia

We had such a great time! It was a beautiful drive out to the farm and was so fun.
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