seeds to start in february

16 Best Seeds to Plant in February (Zone 5-7)

Looking for what seeds to plant in February? This post is a quick guide for those with frost dates between March 20th and April 15th!

Well, February is nearly here and it’s time to start thinking about kicking off another growing season. I know the winter months can feel long and dreary sometimes, but I am always so excited when February rolls around because it means there is new life right around the corner. This month provides the perfect opportunity to get a jumpstart on warmer weather by planting some cool weather seeds indoors or starting to prepare your garden beds. 

I think there is something so hopeful about peeking into seed catalogs full of colorful pictures and descriptions of all the possibilities that lie ahead. Winter may still have its grip for now, but we have the power to dream of spring and get the ball rolling on tiny seeds that will blossom into vibrant blooms and vegetables. So let’s dive in to some of my favorite options for what to plant this month!

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When should you plant seeds in February

Before we dive into the seeds you can start indoors and out this month I want to remind you about the importance of garden plans based on your frost dates! The list I provide you with in this post will be reasonably accurate for those whose estimated last frost date is two weeks before and after the 1st of April.

You last frost date is critical in determining when and what to plant both indoors and out. Some people may also wonder about the importance of knowing your hardiness zone. While important, it has little to do with WHEN you plant things in your garden and more about WHAT you plant in your garden! 

Read More: Ep. 3 – A Complete Guide to Frost Dates for Beginners

What seeds to plant in February

Alright! Let’s jump into the list of seeds you can plant in February to prepare you for this year’s garden! I have divided this list into the following categories! For your convenience, here are those categories as well as the plants within them. Keep reading below to learn more about each crop.

Herb seeds to plant in February

  • Cilantro
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Mint

Seeds to plant directly outside

  • Carrots
  • Sweet peas
  • Radish
  • White Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Turnips
  • Beets

Seeds to start indoors in February

  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mustard
  • Swiss chard
  • Celery
  • Tomato
  • Peppers
  • Brussels sprouts

Herb seeds to plant in February

Many culinary and medicinal herbs can actually benefit from the cold of winter. The freezing temperatures help improve germination through a process called “cold stratification.” Other herbs on this list prefer the cool temperatures of late winter and early spring! 


Cilantro is a fast growing cool weather crop that thrives in full sun or partial shade. Both its fragrant leaves and bolted seeds have been used for centuries in cooking. Cilantro is best grown by directly sowing seeds because of its fast growing nature and its development of a tap root. One of the biggest concerns with growing cilantro is its tendency to bolt at the first sign of heat. Growing early in February increases your chances of receiving a bountiful spring harvest. 


Growing parsley in the spring can mean a greater harvest for you! Parsley loves full sun but will tolerate partial shade, it’s best direct sown around mid-February. I plant parsley in my asparagus bed as it is a great companion plant for asparagus. 

*For many of my spring planted herbs that are good companions, I will often plant them near the location of their Spring/summer planted companions.


Oregano, a versatile and easy-to-grow herb, is a must-have in any culinary garden. This woody perennial plant is a member of the mint family and thrives in containers or as a ground cover. February is a good time to sow these seeds as it can help give the herb the stratification it needs to properly germinate.

Oregano should be planted in a location that receives full sun to part shade. 

Note: Oregano is also an amazing antiviral and is a key ingredient in home remedies for cold and flu season.


Thyme is another shrub-like perennial that is an excellent seed to sow or transplant for your early spring garden. Thyme prefers a sandy, dry soil with excellent drainage and doesn’t require significant fertilizing. Once established the plants would benefit from mulch to help discourage weeds. This also keeps the lower branches clean, whereas open cultivation exposes the lower branches to rain’s action on bare soil.


Mint is a perennial herb that can be planted all year long! However, planting in February is perfect for this plant’s growth cycle. Growing mint from seed is not as difficult as some gardeners think. Freshly harvested mint seeds germinate quickly and reliably under the right conditions. 

Seeds to plant directly outside in February

This next group of vegetable seeds includes root crops and leafy greens that have a tap root. Plants with a tap root are not great candidates for indoor sowing because of the sensitivity of the tap-root to transplanting. All of the crops can be planted directly outdoors at the end of February for best results! Sweet peas are the exception and can be started indoors (as the leaves can be sensitive to heavy frosts. 

Additionally, for these seeds that you are starting outdoors, being prepared with some sort of protection is prudent. Growing in a cold frame, green house or the like can help ensure the success of these plants. 


Carrots are a popular crop to grow in the spring. They generally take a long time to germinate so early germination in spring is a great way to ensure maturity before summer heat decreases the quality of the flavor of the crop. Early Carrots such as the Adana and Napoli are perfect for this time of year. Carrots germinate best at soil temperatures between 55°F and 75°F, though they can tolerate a range of temperatures from 40°F to 85°F.

Green peas

Peas are one of the first crops planted in our spring gardens. They are very easy to grow, but because heat stunts their production their season is limited! Sow seeds into the ground as soon as the ground can be worked, but expect slow germination in cooler weather. 


Radishes are probably the easiest plant to grow for beginners because of their quick germination and short time to maturity. There are some varieties that can be harvested in as little as 25 days! Radishes  do not do well in heat, so early planting will help ensure a high-quality crop. 

White Potatoes

Potatoes are so easy to grow and have such a great yield that they are a must-have for any garden plot. They can be grown in the ground, raised beds, or containers which makes them an option for gardeners with limited space. It should be noted that potatoes are not grown from proper seeds, but instead from seed potatoes! 


Spinach is a leafy green with an extensive tap root that does not like to be disturbed. Spinach is also a plant that bolts quickly at the first sign of heat stress. For this reason planting spinach in the spring is a great way to enjoy this crop before the heat makes it go into seed production. 


Turnips are a cool weather vegetable that can be grown in both the spring and the fall. As with most root crops grown in both seasons, the crop is sweeter in the fall than the winter. Turnips have a quick germination rate and can be harvested within a month as greens and 2 months for the root. 


Beets are another cool season crop that you can direct sow in February! Beets can be grown for both their greens and their roots. As the temperatures heat up. beets will mature quicker!  As with other root crops they are best grown in a loose, well-drained soil! 

Broad Beans

Broad beans are a versatile and productive crop, providing early harvests before most other vegetables. With multiple sowing options, you can enjoy fresh and delicious beans throughout the summer.

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Seeds to start indoors in February

Now let’s look at seeds that can be started indoors in February. These plants include those that are warm season crops with long maturity times, cool weather crops that need to be more mature before going into the cold, as well as crops that you can succession sow for longer harvest.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables or cole crops are those  that are in the mustard family and include cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts. These crops can be started indoors around mid- to late February for transplanting into the garden once they have developed a second set of true leaves.


Is a great seed to start indoors  in February! Lettuce is a cool weather crop that does not do well in warm soil temperatures. Therefore, starting lettuce indoors right now will help give it a jump start on the season and lead to early harvest!  Additionally, for those gardeners who like to have fresh greens all season long succession sowings can be started every two weeks!


Onions can still be started indoors early in the month of February. You can increase germination time by soaking the seeds prior to planting. You will ideally want to get your onions seedlings in soil 6 weeks before your last frost date. If you have passed that time, you can get onion sets, which are more mature onion starts. 

Asian Greens

This type of leafy green includes mizuna, tatsoi, and bakchoy, all of which can be started indoors in February. Because some of these crops are as cold tolerant as lettuce but can tolerate some level of heat as well, the end of February is a great time to get them started. These leafy greens do well in containers as well as raised beds! 

Swiss chard

Swiss chard is a member of the beet family and an excellent crop for your garden because it can tolerate both cool and hot temperatures.  Starting Swiss chard indoors in February is a great way to get a head start on the season! 


Tomato seeds can be germinated at the end of the month into early March or about 4 weeks prior to your last frost date. Tomatoes are a warm weather crop and should not be Remember all of these recommendations should be modified based on your last frost date and the varieties of seeds you are using. 


Peppers are notorious slow germinators, so depending on your last frost date, starting peppers 6-8 weeks before your last frost date can improve your success as a pepper grower! Sweet peppers can take two weeks to germinate and hot peppers can take up to a month to germinate. Heating mats can help improve germination rates!

Also Read: Ep. 4 – Seed Buying Tips + Online Seed Companies

So there you have it, your guide to planting in February based on frost dates and knowing which plants are suitable for this time of year. By doing a little bit of research and understanding the purpose of frost dates, you can set yourself up for a successful and fruitful gardening season. From frost-tolerant vegetables like kale and spinach to hardy herbs like thyme, there is no shortage of options for what to plant in February.

And don’t forget about starting your seeds indoors! This not only allows you to geat a head start on the growing season, but it also gives you the opportunity to try growing new and unique plants that may not be available as seedlings at your local nursery. So go ahead, grab those gardening gloves and get planting! Your efforts will surely pay off with an abundance of fresh produce and beautiful flowers in the months to come.

seeds to plant in february
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