A lot depends on the soil and the weather. My soil is well drained and is not susceptible to waterlogging so, providing itís warm enough, I will be planting towards the end of next month. Sometimes I wait until March it really does depend on the weather, rather than sticking to a precise calendar.
Shallots in Spring
I plant these in Ďsetsí or bulbs rather than seeds. They are really worth growing as they are relatively easy and are a very tasty addition to roast vegetables and many stews like coq au vin.
White Lisbon bulbs
I usually have some overwintering which were planted in summer, but I will have to make an early planting as they are quick to respond when the weather picks up.
You need to get onion seed going as early as possible, so it has long enough to mature. I have some from France which grow into a strange elongated shape, almost like big shallots.
Flowering leads to pods
I keep my own seeds from year to year & plant them as soon as the weather lightens up a bit. Itís one of the great pleasure of allotmenteering to be able to pick them small, steam them for a nominal time and eat the succulent beans quite early in the growing calendar. Loads of people tell me they donít like them, but I donít believe it. I think they have had old ones with hard skin shells, or Ďhas beansí. You can even eat them raw they are so lovely.
Germination to Umbrellas
People say they are difficult to grow but they arenít. Just make sure that you have fresh seed. Itís the only seed that I donít keep, but since Istarted collecting the seed there is no need anyway. The seeds are surrounded by blotting paper and I think it is hygroscopic. Thatís the clue of what to do to make sure they germinate.
Chitting Early Potatoes
This is a good thing to do if you want to give your earlies and second earlies a head start. Place them in egg cartons or similar so the more pointed end is faced upwards and the eyes will develop or Ďchití in the light. Choose a light but not too warm place to put them as soon as you buy them or when they arrive from the supplier.
Severed to the ground
Prune Autumn Raspberries
Sometime around mid month the Autumn fruiting raspberries will need to be cut back to ground level, and I will spread a manure mulch under all of them. Summer varieties are pruned once they have cropped, and only the canes which have borne fruit that year, for the other canes bear next year's fruit.