February Garden Tasks and Seed Planting (For Zone 8A PNW)

February Garden Tasks and Seed Planting. A lot to think about.

The month of February is fast approaching, and the garden tasks are waiting to be done, before Spring shows up. I always love November/December/early January because those are my “sleepy” months, when I get to stay inside, and do other things like crafting and reading. But come mid-January, I know I have to gear up. This past week I spent it in our greenhouse, cleaning and tidying it up. The greenhouse still hasn’t been moved into its permanent home and sits in the lower field. A lot of other chores have bumped it down the to-do list. So I thought about it, and was “well….I can move the flats of plants if we get it done”. Because otherwise we would never get anything in gear and going. So, this growing season, the main greenhouse sits on a field. It doesn’t get moisture issues as the land dried out under it in summer. One thing that might be good, due to living on an island.

The zone we use for our homestead farm is 8A. Where we previously lived we had a colder zone (in the 7 zones), so this has opened up our growing schedule and gives us more weeks on both ends (we have spinach still puttering in the ground growing slowly!).

Garden Tasks:

  • Figure out what you want to grow in the coming year, and purchase seeds. Now is your chance to get the best (and freshest) selections.
  • Plan your garden layout for the year. Go walk outside, take photos, make sketches, even measure if need be.
  • Clean up your garden work storage space – whether it is a shed, garage or a greenhouse.
  • Sharpen, and clean tools. Things get dirty in storage, and rust can set in.
  • Clean up tree debris, such as fallen branches and pinecones.
  • Assess fruit and nut trees for minor pruning, if needed.
  • If the ground isn’t frozen, plant bare root trees and shrubs. Bare root items tend to show up in nearly February in nurseries and stores.
  • Plant asparagus bare roots.
  • If using raised beds for crops, start making them, if existing, turn the soil over and remove weeds.
  • If planning on in ground gardening, consider getting it ready – cover with cardboard to smother weeds, or get garden tarps down. Working in amendments can be tricky this early due to heavy rains in the PNW.
  • If you have ignored your compost bin, work on it. At minimum, start turning it weekly.

Seeds To Plant:

Below are seeds you can start in February, which are either colder-weather crops, or need a longer start time. The dates are not set in stone, it is a guide of what week may be most preferable to get them started. Needless to say, the start of February is a good time to have seeds on hand, potting soil and small pots – and a sunny window, greenhouse or grow light system on hand. And if you start them later? It’s OK for many crops. And for temperamental ones like broccoli, you always can grow those as a fall crop, where they often fare better than in spring, if you miss the window, or late winter is too warm.

Zone 8A has a last frost of March 21 – 31, however this isn’t to believed and one should expect it can go later. However, it is usually mild by then, if you are near the open water, and peas will do fine. You will need to watch anything planted early outside that the rains don’t affect them. December through March tend to the heaviest months for rain, but once Spring comes the Olympic rain shadow effect helps dry out the land.

Artichokes:

Indoors 2nd week of February

Beets:

Indoors 2nd week of February

Broccoli: 

Indoors 1st week of February

Cabbage:

Indoors 2nd week of February

Carrots:

Indoors 2nd week of February and on

Cauliflower:

Indoors 1st week of February

Celery:

Indoors end of January/early February

Chard:

Indoors 2nd week of February

Collards:

Indoors second week of February

Herbs:

Indoors mid February through March.

Kale:

Indoors 2nd week of February and on (succession planting)

Kohlrabi:

Indoors 2nd week of February

Leeks:

Indoors end of January/early February

Lettuce:

Indoors from February through March (succession planting)

Onions, from seed:

Indoor January 7th to early February

Peas:

Direct seed 2nd week of February to early April in ground, can start indoor in February

Peppers:

Indoor mid-February through March

Spinach:

Indoor from February through March

Tomatoes:

Indoors from 2nd week of February and on

~Sarah