Set celery plants in trenches into the bottom of which you have put plenty of muck or compost, covered by soil. Plants should be about a foot apart in double rows about nine inches apart down the sides of the trench.

Sow sweetcorn in a warm, sheltered spot outside. Set the seeds in a grid about 18in apart to help pollination. Sow beetroot, sprouting broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages and carrots. Hoe between rows of onion sets to chivvy weed seedlings. Pinch out sideshoots of greenhouse tomatoes and feed regularly. Sow cucumbers, marrows and melons inside or in a greenhouse, setting a single seed in a three-inch pot. Cover the pots with newspaper until the seedlings emerge.

Cut back over ambitious evergreens such as spotty laurel (Aucuba japonica) and plain laurel (Prunus laurocerasus). New shoots will soon spring from the base.