Mr Stanford likes to give tips because he's 'spent more years than I care to count' growing vegetables and fruit. Duffus and I think his tips are good but the Director often ignores them.

Show Mr Stanford's tips for:

January

You can plant red, white and black currant bushes. Now is also the time to dig up rhubarb roots and divide. Look at seed catalogues and dream about how you would like your plot to look - and don't forget about flowers around your scarecrow

February

Prepare your seedbeds and towards the end of the month, if not too wet, sow parsnips.
Make sure you have cut down any autumn fruiting raspberries. You can warm the soil by covering with plastic sheeting. Sow some beetroot and peas if you live in mild areas under a cloche. Get your garlic in!

April

Be bold - try something new this year such as Salsify, or scorzonera. Think about the bees - try some borage. Think about your scarecrow - fashions change and hats in particular need careful attention.

May

When sowing small seeds, use your hand or a small funnel but don't do it straight from the seed packet.
There is lots to sow this month (see plot update) but if you're suffering a drought, try starting things off in pot. Rain will come.
Take a flask of tea/coffee and cake and enjoy your plot. Remember, scarecrows like a bit of company.

June

Plant some nasturtiums to distract black fly from your broad beans.
Keep an eye on your gooseberries - Sawfly caterpillars can munch all the leaves.
Runner beans look nice in a wigwam shape for a change.
Tuck your brassicas under fleece if you don't want to feed the cabbage white butterfly.
Grow some turnips - they are good for you.

July

Winter will follow summer, so think about your winter crops; leeks need to be planted this month, broccoli and kale can also go in.
Remember to mulch your crops to help stop them drying out.
Watch out for the pigeons - they like young turnip tops as well as brassicas.

August

You can still sow some rocket in pots.
If you have a glut of runner beans try Mabel's runner bean relish - it is delicious. The courgette or the rhubarb cake is also very nice.
It has been very windy of late so make sure your Scarecrow's hat is firmly tied on.

September

Raise squash and pumpkins of the ground so they will not rot.

You can still sow rocket - try it in a pot if you have no-where on your plot.

It is better to plant spring bulbs such as daffodils and crocuses in September - some grouped on your plot will bring much cheer.