Diarmuid Gavin: How to guarantee your first veg sprout

Cultivate tender seeds inside until warmer April weather arrives and start with beetroot if you are a beginner

Beetroot is an easy crop to grow for beginners

Diarmuid Gavin

St Patrick’s Day is the traditional date to get your first spuds in the ground and is also a reminder to get going with the veg garden. March can be bitter so if you’re sowing outdoors, have some horticultural fleece ready to cover up seedlings if there are any late frosts. If your soil still feels very cold to the touch, you’re better off planting in seed modules or pots first — these can be left outdoors and then planted next month. Only hardy veg seed can be sown outdoors at the moment but you can start off tender seeds such as tomatoes in the glasshouse or a sunny windowsill.