Author: Martin Blunn, Solutionize Global.

As March approaches and the days get longer and hopefully the last of the cold spells have passed all our winter tasks including pruning should be completed, if not do it as soon as possible.

With hopefully all your orders of seeds arrived now is the time to start to germinate. My mum many years ago introduced me to an electric propagator and I’ve never looked back with starting my plants from seed. Irrespective of the surrounding temperature the seeds and seedlings are kept at a consistent 18-21 centigrade. Don’t try and cram too many seeds into the propagator and remember to follow the planting instructions. March is a good time to germinate tomato, cucumber and peppers, cucumber seeds should plant edge on and peppers should be covered with very little compost. Don’t forget don’t overwater but also don’t let the seedlings dry out they take time to establish. I recently added a second propagator to my collection, one that has extenders to raise the height perfect for those seedlings that outgrow the standard propagator very soon including cucumbers and courgettes amongst other plants. Check all the packets of the seeds you’ve purchased and plan what is going to germinated when and whether this is under glass or directly outside. Keep a record of your plans and try and keep on track.

While germinating your seeds in the propagator, preparation and spring feed should be going into the plants in the garden or allotment including the strawberry patch and asparagus. If you have a rhubarb crown you may want to force it my placing a bucket over to accelerate the growth.

Rotation of crops in your beds is essential to ensure you don’t drain one area of all of its nutrients, remembering or recording what was planted in which location last year is vital to the preparation of this year beds. Soil should be turned over and aerated either by hand or if you have a tiller or rotavator in preparation for planting out or directly planting into the ground.

Any winter crops should if not still producing crops should now be dug out, Kale will start going to seed now and brassicas are coming to the end of their season. Remember all the leaves and other organic matter dug out goes into the compost heap or compost heap mixed with compost accelerator and water will make a great start to this years compost which should be ready to dig in by the end of the year.

Now is the really exiting time of the year as everything comes back to life, unfortunately this also includes weeds so try and keep under control by regularly removing from beds.