Plant seed potatoes
Good Friday is the traditional day to plant potatoes in NE England, mainly because it was one of the few days off the pitmen had. However, this didn’t work so well when Easter fell early! Wait until the soil is warm enough before planting potatoes – if grass and weeds are growing, it should be fine. If you got off to an early start last month with your spuds, then they may be ready for earthing up – covering the haulms with soil. Start this process as the shoots start to show, paying special attention if frosts are forecast. If frost is forecast, protect early, young potato shoots. They’ll need protection even in unheated greenhouses and tunnels, as well as outdoors. Earth them up or cover with newspaper, net curtain or horticultural fleece overnight.
Harden off shop-bought plants
Make sure annuals you buy at the garden centre/nursery are hardened off before you plant them out. Half-hardy annuals like Surfinia, petunias, French marigolds and Antirrhinum can’t go outside until your last frost date.
Get your sweet peas in
Plant out sweet peas if hardened off and tie in if they are tall enough. Provide support with twigs or string or pea netting.
Sow hardy annuals
Hardy annual seeds can be sown directly into open ground, but wait until you can see weeds growing strongly before sowing.
Veg to be sown
Sow seeds of the following veg if conditions are fine: beetroot, parsnips, turnips, onions, peas and mangetout, broad beans, lettuce and salad leaves, spinach, radish, rocket, mizuna, pak choi, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.