Spotting signs that the allotment is beginning to wake from its winter slumber cheers me up no end. Spring bulbs are pushing through and that’s something to smile about. It’s too early to get sowing really underway although some crops can be started off this month, along with those that benefit from a long growing season. A heated propagator or greenhouse will be invaluable to get them off to a flying start but light levels can be a problem so a grow light may be needed.
Some jobs that can be tackled this month:
- Plant dormant bare-root fruit trees and bushes if conditions allow
- Chit seed potatoes
- Plant shallot sets
- Plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers direct outside in well prepared soil, keep in mind that once established it can be difficult to clear the ground they’ve occupied of tubers, the plants grow well over 6 ft high and can create shade. Chose the planting site carefully.
- Force established rhubarb
- Finish lifting parsnips
- Finish winter pruning apple and pear trees
- Cut autumn raspberry canes to ground level – don’t forget to keep the cut canes for pea sticks!
Vegetable seeds that can be sown this month:
- Onion and leek indoors or under glass
- Long season crops such as tomatoes and chillies indoors using a heat mat or heated propagator
- Broad beans such as The Sutton direct under a tunnel cloche or in pots in a greenhouse