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February - "a seed waiting to sprout"

Keeping an impatient lookout for the first signs of spring, we need to remember it is still winter. Most seeds will be better for keeping under wraps and sowing when the weather warms up. 

We can make preparation though, by covering the soil (seedbeds) with thick cardboard, cloches or horticultural fleece. Make sure it is weighted down against gusty winds.

If the weather has been kind and the soil warmed up, then you can sow broad beans, carrots, parsnips, early beetroot, spring onions, lettuces, radishes, peas, spinach and summer brassicas. Keep under cloches or fleece.  

If you have space then chillies are best started off indoors in the warm. Follow on with tomatoes and cucumbers from mid -February.

Sow broad beans in pots to plant out in March. And leeks in tall modules as this makes it easier to separate when planting out. 

Make early sowings of summer bedding plants, such as impatiens, geranium  nicotiana and petunia.