February In The Vegie Patch

hollyhocks in FebNew Zealand is playing the game of two halves. We are split into the wet and cool, and the hot and parched. Use your smarts and match your February plantings to the weather. If its cold and soggy plant zucchini in a tyre loaded with compost – gets it warm and above the wet, maybe forgo the dwarf beans and sow carrots and saladings instead.

Where ever you are, be sure to get your winter garden underway this month. It’s alot of work turning beds over that are dry and hungry, here are some tips to help you out. Being in the wet, cool half of the country this job has been delightfully easy. Weeding is a doddle and the soil is in great nick, it needs no reviving. Pros and cons to everything.

What to Sow and Plant in February

  • Direct sow dwarf beans, basil, beetroot, carrots, parsnips, fennel. I get all my winter carrots and parsnips underway this month. They’ll be mature by the time the soil cools off and keep beautifully over winter in natures fridge.
  • Direct sow companion flowers like calendula, chamomile, larkspur, wallflower, cornflower, snapdragons, love in a mist, borage
  • Direct sow greencrops – phacelia, lupin, buckwheat or mustard to give your soil a rest between crops, prepare ground for brassicas (lupin is the best here), and to provide mulch for autumn plantings.
  • Direct sow (in the shade) coriander, parsley, saladings, kale, rocket
  • Tray sow silverbeet, spring onion, celery
  • Plant out your last zuchinni and leeks for spring
  • Plant out broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, silverbeet, parsley, celery. If the sun beats down a la Gisborne,  erect a shadecloth above these guys. This keeps those with a preference for mild rather than hot, growing onward, rather than wasting energy recovering from dehydration. Another step I can skip.


  1. Are these all seeds you are speaking of sowing or is it best to plant seedlings?