• Early sowings outside may prove difficult at this time of year if your soil is still cold and wet. Cloches will warm up the soil under them and will also protect from frost and rain. Try to leave the cloches in place for at least two or three weeks prior to seed sowing and planting out of young seedlings, then replace the cloches to give your young plants a good start.
  • Sow runner and french beans, aubergine, capsicum, celeriac, courgette and marrow in the greenhouse to get them off to an early start.  Also sow tomato seed in a warm place to provide plants for either planting out in early June or growing on in an unheated greenhouse.
  • Cauliflower seedlings produced from seed sown earlier may be pricked out and placed in seed trays for growing on before planting later in spring.
  • Second early potatoes should be planted now with main crop varieties shortly after.
  • Onion Sets can be planted in rows remembering to leave enough space to a use the hoe for weeding later. If shallots haven't already been planted they should be done so as soon as possible.
  • Leeks can be sown in the nursery bed and then transplanted into their final rows in the summer.
  • All types of fruit will benefit from a good thick layer of mulch made from well-rotted organic matter.
  • Newly planted summer and autumn fruiting raspberries should be cut back to approximately 23cm (9") from the base.
  • Cover strawberry plants with cloches to encourage early flowers.
  • Sow seeds of half-hardy bedding plants in trays in greenhouses or on windowsills, then pricked out, when large enough to handle, into individual pots.
  • More mature bedding plants can be planted into their final containers and grown on in the greenhouse but don't move outdoors until the end of May/early June, depending on weather conditions. A wide range of hardy annuals can be sown in their flowering position.
  • Don't forget to put plant support frames over clumps of tall perennials - they will need the support later on and if you leave it too late the plants will have grown too much to position the supports effectively.