Want to work up an appetite for Easter holiday? Get onto the plot, get some fresh air and enjoy starting the growing season in earnest.
Position broad bean plants outside
Broad beans are one of the first crops to get growing on the vegetable patch. The young plants respond well to early spring conditions putting on good growth through April and forming beans for picking in May. Place individual plants 20cm (8in) apart in double rows 45cm (18in) apart or in VegTrugs 30cm (12in) apart. Protect against slug damage.
Sow tomatoes indoors
Get your greenhouse active by sowing indoor crops like tomatoes and peppers. Sprinkle two or three seeds on the top of compost-full 9cm (3 1/2 in) pots or seed trays and cover with a thin layer of compost or vermiculite. Place pots in a propagator in the greenhouse of even in the house on a windowsill near a radiator but away from draughts.
Prepare your sweet pea beds
If you are growing sweet peas outdoors along a wall-side border prepare the soil well before planting. Digging a trench and backfilling with lots of organic matter or rich compost like John Innes No3 will feed your sweet peas right through the summer and they won't lose their oomph halfway through the season.
Plant fruit trees in containers
Growing fruit trees is now possible even when you don't have a bed in your garden. Marshalls has fruit trees with dwarfing properties, great for gardens as they reach a height of around 2.5m (8 1/2 ft) for easy picking.
When planting in containers fill them up with John Innes No3 compost around the root system of your bare root plant. It's easier to plant your trees with two people - one person to hold the tree upright and one person to fill the container with soil and firm down as the container fills. Be sure to keep the knobbly graft union of the stem proud of the soil and water well afterwards.
Weed well between rows
Nature hates a vacuum - unfortunately nature tends to fill empty spaces with weeds 12 months a year and Easter weekend is a great time to get the winter weeds under control. A hoe will see to surface annual weeds like chickweed but you may need a grubber to dig out the long taproots of dandelions and field mallows.
Tend to strawberry beds
If you have overwintering strawberries now is the time to give them a pick over. Go through your plants and remove dead and yellowing leaves. Check for neighbouring weeds and grub them out among the plants taking care not to disturb the strawberry plants too much. Give your strawberries a boost of sprinkled fish, blood and bone to stimulate those strawberry roots.
Tend to soft fruit
If you have autumn-fruiting raspberries now is the time to prune the fruited stems down to the ground, leaving the green and leafy stems in place. Give them supports to grow up if they are lanky and rangy.
Give all soft fruit bushes a generous mulch of bark or thick layer of organic manure to give those plants a root-boost for well-performing fruiting stems.
Harvest crops from the winter
Enjoy the last of the winter crops like leeks, parsnips and winter cabbage. once these are up it's time to take stock and work out what goes in their place. A different crop type will prevent a build up of soil diseases so it's worth bearing this in mind when it comes to planting this season's crops.