Tidy out your greenhouse or potting shed
If you haven’t already, wash flower pots and cloches for use the coming year
Harvest Jerusalem artichokes
Choose your vegetable seeds and order then now
Start chitting your potatoes
Sow indoors lettuce and summer cabbage in modules and broad beans in 9 cm pots
Plant garlic and broad beans outside at the end of month
Sow summer cauliflower seeds in cloches
Prune apple & pear trees before they start to bud
Cut autumn fruiting raspberries to the ground
Seed potatoes should be happily chitting away by now
Get organised early : collect plastic bottles for cloches, scrub pots and seed trays ready for planting. Collect hazel for pea sticks before it starts to bud
You can start planting outdoors : broad beans, garlic, onions, Jerusalem artichokes, beetroot, carrots
Seed potatoes which have been chitting will be ready to plant over Easter
Start sowing carrots, beetroot, leeks, rocket, spinach, swiss chard, peas, cabbage, sprouts, parsnips, broad beans, parsley and radishes then repeat in 2 weeks to have succession cropping
Greenhouse raised broad beans and peas should be hardened off now before planting out.
Harvest forced rhubarb.
Mulch strawberries, raspberries, currents & gooseberries with thick dressing of well rotted manure to protect roots, suppress weeds & retain moisture.
Growing Potatoes in a Bag
You will need : 3 seed potatoes or sprouted potatoes, a big plastic bag such as old compost bag, compost or manure and soil.
Turn compost bag black side out and roll down top. Punch a few holes in bottom for drainage. Add compost to 20 cm depth. Place 3 potatoes on compost an cover with another 20cm compost. Place bag in a warm sheltered position and water so compost is moist but not waterlogged. Water regularly but don’t allow plants to become waterlogged. When shoots emerge through compost, allow to grow to 15cm then add another 10 cm compost, unrolling the bag as required. The plants must be kept frost free so add compost (earth up) and unroll bag as plants grow until all danger of frost is past. A decent crop requires regular watering; plants are ready to harvest when they have flowered. Feel around under the plants to harvest potatoes as you need them.
Potatoes should already be in but if not pop in some main crop now. Be sure to earth up any earlier plantings which are showing through or cover with newspaper is frost is forecast.
Continue sequential sowing of carrots, beetroot, leeks, parsnips, rocket, spinach, Swiss chard, peas, cabbage, sprouts, radishes and parsley.
Sow lettuce under glass at 2 or 3 week intervals for a regular crop throughout summer. Remember to shade seedlings in the greenhouse on a hot day. Water can be lost rapidly from the leaves and seedlings can die quickly if compost dries out.
Plant beans and peas outdoors now but protect if a frost is forecast. Peas sown last year or earlier this year need to be supported by either pea netting or twiggy sticks.
Fruit – harvest rhubarb. Plant bare root strawberries once the soil begins to warm up. Strawberries like well drained soil rich in organic matter.
It may be necessary to water newly planted fruit trees and canes as it has been dry. Keep an eye on wall trained trees or fruit grown in containers as they are prone to drying out. See www.gardenorganic.org.uk for loads of helpful info and what jobs to do each month.
Continue sowing seed of beetroot, carrot, spring onion, lettuce, radish, rocket, dill, coriander, peas winter cabbage and broad beans for succession cropping.
Calabrese, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, runner and french beans can be sown direct into the soil when there is no more danger of late frosts.
Leeks and summer cabbage can be transplanted now.
Indoor raised courgettes, squash, pumpkins, sweet corn, french beans and runner beans can be planted out at the end of the month when all danger of frosts has passed. Finish sowing hardy annual flower seed,
Early potatoes should be earthed up.
Scatter pelleted fertilizer around established plants.
Keep on top of the weeds, hoeing or hand weeding.
Regularly water newly planted fruit trees and bushes.
Put out inverted grape fruit halves to catch slugs .
Sow spring cabbage, lettuce ( hardy winter variety), spring onions( White Lisbon hardy winder variety, radishes, spinach, turnips.
Plant out kale, savoy cabbage, cauliflower. Plant out any lettuces grown in trays.
Thin carrots, harvest baby beetroot leaving space for others to grow bigger.
Harvest courgettes or if you prefer leave then to turn into marrows.
Feed tomatoes weekly once 2nd truss has set and water regularly making sure they don’t dry out. Take off side shoots as they grow.
If you haven’t yet planted out your leeks do so now.
Keep picking beans, mangetout and sugar snap peas to encourage further cropping.
Keep on top of the weeds, hoeing or hand weeding. Keep an eye out for butterfly eggs under the leaves of your brassicas. Wash or pick off before they dine on your dinner.
Not much to sow except winter salad leaves ( eg Artic King lettuce) and hardy winter spring onions (eg White Lisbon winter variety).
Plant out spring cabbage plants and overwintering (Japanese) onion sets. Feed tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Early Sept is the time to sow green manure on empty ground after the last crop has been lifted if you are not planning to add manure. Green manures hold soil fertility and keep weeds at bay. Tidy up summer fruiting raspberries.
Harvest courgettes, carrots, beetroot, all kinds of beans, cabbage, sweetcorn, spinach, tomatoes, onions and marrows.