February Cool Regions Planting and Garden Checklist

Here is a vegetable and fruit planting guide for cool regions for the month of February and a food garden checklist. The danger of frost is possible in cool regions this month. Cool regions include:

USDA Zone 8:

(Zone 8 in the United States includes Mid-South and Pacific Northwest states.)

Vegetables: Prepare soil for planting by plowing or spading when the ground is not wet. Order the seeds and supplies for the spring garden.

Make a plan of the garden on paper showing the vegetables to be grown for the spring and summer plantings and their location. Consider the likes and dislikes of you and your family.

In regions that begin to warm, plant outdoors early vegetables: beets, cabbage (plants), carrots, cauliflower (plants), chard, lettuce, mustard, onions (sets or plants), peas, potatoes, salsify, spinach, and turnips.

Seed of tomato, pepper, and eggplant should be started in the hotbed or seed box in early February. It will take 7to 8 weeks to grow plants large enough to transplant to the garden.

To increase your yield: plan plantings for companion cropping, as radishes planted with carrots (any fast growing small crop with a slow-maturing vegetable. Plan successional plantings such as bush lima beans to follow garden peas. Here is a list of successional sowings that will give you a continuous supply of vegetables: string beans, lettuce, radishes, spinach, Swiss chard, sweet corn, peas, beets, and carrots.

Sow warm season vegetables under glass in hotbed or cold frame in flats or jiffy pots to plant out after the last frost. Early summer vegetables include broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower, tomato, pepper, and eggplant.

Bare-root and Fruit: Plant deciduous fruit trees before they break dormancy. Prune winter-damaged fruit trees. Limit pruning of spring-flowering fruit trees to the removal of suckers and winter-damaged or crossing branches to save blossom buds.

Apply dormant oil spray to fruit trees before the buds break.

Garden Maintenance: Prepare vegetable garden beds.

Insect and plant diseases can infect garden debris, damaged vegetables and weeds. Clean up the garden.

Irrigate the garden if the weather is dry.

Cold frames and Hotbeds: Ventilate the cold frame whenever the temperature is above 45°F (7°C). If you are going to plant vegetables in the frame, fork over the soil and add amendments that will ensure that the soil is light and loamy.

Here is a list of early starters for the hotbed: lima beans, lettuce, turnips, radishes, beets, carrots, muskmelon, lettuce, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, eggplants, watermelon, squash, balm, basil, borage, caraway, lavender, clary, fennel, dill, sweet marjoram, rosemary, thyme, New Zealand spinach.