To germinate seeds early in the year a warm, benign environment is needed. Very few gardeners can afford the luxury of a heated greenhouse which means bringing seed trays into the house, not ideal, or using a heated propagator mat and site the seed trays in a porch or unheated conservatory. Seeds will need to be placed into a sealed propagator to create a warm atmosphere which will not dry out, and once germinated, removed and kept frost free. Light levels are very low in February so seeding is not easy and plants need to be turned regularly to keep even growth.
The benefits of seeding in February is if it goes well, the plants will mature earlier. Sowing in March and April is easier because of the extra light and warmth. Tips and advice for successful sowing and germination. Video advice on sowing seeds and germination.
Suitable for seeding under glass in February are: Aubergines, Beetroot, chilies, courgettes and cucumbers, French beans, lettuce and rocket and tomatoes. Flower seeds, many of the popular garden plants such as Ageratum, Antirrhinum, Calendula, Cornflower, French Marigolds, Nigella, Rudbeckia, Salvia, Scabious and Zinnia.
Towards the end of the month and in March it is easier to germinate and grow on seeds because of the increasingly light and warm. The further north you are in terms of prevailing weather and chill factor the more you may wish to delay first sowings.