• Sow hardy annuals in pots or module trays for planting out later in the spring.
• Pot up plug plants and grow on in a sunny back bedroom or windowsill. Add some easy feed or plug boost, to give them the very best start. Give the tips a pinch a couple of times while the plants are young, this will make them nice and bushy, with more flowers.
Direct sow outdoors
• Direct sow wildflower seed mixtures into well-prepared soil. They’re great for bees and butterflies, and add beautiful colour too.
• Sow sweet peas.
• Direct sow hardy annuals such as California poppies, clarkia and cornflowers into workable, well-prepared soil.
• Sow early broad beans, like The Sutton or De Monica, and early peas, such as Twinkle or Avola) in seed trays of compost. Just push the seeds into the compost and keep watered; you can transplant them later once they've germinated and have the strength to survive in the soil.
• Begin chitting (sprouting) seed potatoes on delivery.
In the cold frame/ under cloches
• Sow lettuce in module trays under glass for transplanting into the garden later. Alternatively sow lettuce outside under cloches.
• Sow radish seeds under glass under cloches for your first salad of the season.
• Sow peas directly into the ground, or start them off in modules if mice are a problem.
• Direct sow parsnips in rows 30cm apart when the soil is workable.
• Start sowing spinach outdoors in soil enriched with plenty of organic matter.
• Sow spring-onion seeds in drills outdoors for a quick crop to add to salads and stir fries.
• Try Swiss chard sown outdoors for a colourful crop - they even look great in flower beds!
• Sow turnip seed directly into the ground now for an early crop.
• Try growing your own watercress in containers, making sure the container is sitting in 2-3 inches of water at all times.
If the ground's not frozen, plant out onion, shallot and garlic sets Image: rodimov
• Plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers as soon as the soil is workable, at a depth of 10-15cm.
• Plant out asparagus crowns in well-prepared permanent beds.
• Plant onion sets, garlic sets and shallots now for a crop this summer.
• Plant chitted early potatoes outside in the ground later in the month. If you don't have enough space for growing potatoes on your plot, try a potato-growing kit for your patio. (For more on growing potatoes in bags or in the ground, see our potato growing guides.)
• Plant asparagus beds from crowns into a trench about 20-25cm deep and 30cm wide.Carefully place the crowns 45cm apart and ensure the emerging buds are just below soil level.