1 Continue to set out seed potatoes for sprouting on cool, sunny windowsills as they arrive in the post. If you haven’t opened up a runner bean trench, now is a good time, whilst you are clearing out your compost heap – dig out the trench to at least 60cm (24”) deep to give the beans a decent chance. Clean up bare ground of overwintering weeds and other debris. Cover small areas of ground with polythene to warm them up for sowings of peas, broad bean, early carrots and summer cabbages. Lift and divide chives, lemon balm, mint and other herbaceous herbs now to increase your stock – swap some with a neighbour.
2 Give overwintered sprouting broccoli and spring cabbages a light dressing of a high Nitrogen fertiliser to give them a boost.
3 Mulch all soft fruit bushes and canes with well-rotted animal manure and a light top dressing of a general, balanced fertiliser such as fish, blood and bone or Growmore. Continue to plant out bare-rooted fruit trees and bushes in well-prepared ground. Buy in some good clean straw for your field grown strawberries.