Things for your plot this month
The temperatures are increasing daily and the longer days are the real trigger to new growth and you will find that with the help of a little protection you can really go for those early sowings. They might not all make it but it is still worth a try and you will still have plenty of time to re-sow any misses.
Sowing and Planting
If the soil on your plot is not too wet, which can rot potatoes, you can plant out early cultivars as soon as possible and follow on planting out at regular intervals with the second earlies and first maincrops until the end of the month.
Don’t be tempted to plant out more potatoes than you can protect from any frosty weather further down the line.
· Transplant any early peas, broad beans, cabbages or lettuce you started off earlier.
· Sow the seed of Brussels sprouts, summer cabbage, broccoli, onions and leeks in short rows on a “nursery seed bed”. These will be grown on to be transplanted in April.
· Sow rows round seeded spinach, Swiss chard, early types of beetroot, carrots, parsnips, lettuce, Spring onions, peas, broad beans and turnips.
· Try sowing the seed of the white form of kohl rabi towards the end of the month.
· Plant out onion sets, shallots and garlic before they start to produce shoots.
· If you have a greenhouse sow the seeds of tomatoes, celery, celeriac, French beans (they are hardy enough to be planted out before the runners) and cauliflowers to transplant into the open soil next month.
· Complete any unfinished weeding, digging and any winter pruning.
· Clear the old leaves off strawberry plants and clean up the ground in between the plants before giving them a top dressing of a general fertiliser.
· Keep some fleece handy to protect the developing strawberry flowers from frost. Any frost damaged flowers will have a tell-tale “black eye” at the centre of the dead flower.
· When the weather conditions allow complete the preparations of seed beds for direct seed sowing. Spread the job out over several days to allow the surface of the soil to dry out.