Sowing begins in earnest now. Mid-month or once the days have gone from lion to lamb, plant broad beans, early peas, carrots, lettuces, spinach, salad leaves, leeks and chard. Plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers – bury them 1” deep and 12-18” apart – bearing in mind that they like to spread and will do so like wildfire unless you dig up every last one at harvest time. Plant asparagus crowns now in well-drained soil.

Now is the time to prepare the ground for French and runner beans. Any effort in this direction will pay off handsomely in the days to come. Dig a trench a minimum of a spade’s depth and put in a generous layer of wellrotted manure or compost. Do the same for courgette plants.

Plant out your early potatoes at the end of the month – or if you haven’t already done so, start chitting your seed potatoes – put them in a light, cool place with the end showing the most ‘buds’ uppermost – an old egg box is ideal.

There is nothing to stop you from getting ahead with the summer crops – sweet peppers, tomatoes, aubergines and salads can all be planted inside now.

Daffodils,
That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty.

William Shakespeare

Who in this world of ours their eyes
In March first open shall be wise;
In days of peril firm and brave,
And wear a Bloodstone to their grave

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.

Charles Dickens

A little madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King.

Emily Dickinson