Vegetable Plot

  • Tidy up dead and decaying leaves on over-wintered crops
  • As soon as possible plant artichokes, asparagus, seakale and rhubarb crowns
  • Set garlic cloves, onion sets, shallots
  • Start planting out potato sets once your soil is friable, preferably under cloches, Mains as soon as Earlies as they need the longest time to crop
  • When planting your Earlies leave all the shoots on, but rub off all bar three developing on your Main crops, and preferably those from the rose end
  • When planting Main-crop potatoes sow a couple of broad beans with each set as a catch crop, after they finish their root nodules will feed the spuds
  • Sow outdoors in warm soil, preferably under cloches; peas and broad beans, onions, leeks, beetroot, kohl rabi, cabbages, cauliflowers, lettuce, spinach, turnips, carrots, chards, salsify, scorzonera, parsnips, herbs, radishes, spring onions, sweet peas and hardy annuals
  • Sow first carrots by covering seeds with sowing compost not soil to keep down weeds and use fleece to keep off the fly
  • When sowing parsley pour boiling water in the drill first to kill weed seeds and warm the soil a bit
  • Do not pre-soak early sowings of peas, and sow on flat or a low ridge rather than deep in a cold drill
  • Put pea guards or similar protection over all your sowings as birds are active now and scratch up everywhere
  • Put out slug pubs, saucers of beer or juice, now amongst over-wintering and seedling crops to thin out their numbers before they multiply
  • Plant out onion, garlic and shallots if soil is friable
  • Give areas chosen to grow brassicas later this year a dressing of lime at a handful per square yard
  • Sow borage in empty beds to later pull and compost or make into liquid feed when you need the space
  • Asparagus should be cropping soon so cut early and regularly