SNOWDROPS are nodding, the daffodils are slowly opening along the roadsides and the window ledges are filled with seed trays . . . we are off!

Mind you, there’s no heat in that sun yet is there? And that wind is lazy, and cuts through you like an icy sword. But there are buds on the trees and the spring flowers keep reminding you not to give up.

Geoff got in touch with me asking about onions. He wanted to pick my brains on when to plant his onion sets.

I gave up trying to plant them out on my plot in mid spring as my soil is still icy cold and wet.

Onions aren’t terribly happy about having cold feet, and they certainly don’t like sitting in sodden beds - they give up and rot. So for the past 10 years I’ve started them off in cells under the cover of my polytunnel.

I just use a multi-purpose compost and bung them in, they are much happier. I’ve found by the time my soil is hospitable, the onion sets have run out of fuel and turned into a sad mess of tatty green foliage and withered bulbs. These never bounce back.

So I stick to planting them into cells and once they do go out, I give them an additional boost with some onion fertiliser.

It’s just what works for me, plus I can be a little ruthless and plant the fattest looking onions.

This year I’m not doing red onions, I’m sick of them being disappointing. I’m blaming the past few wet summers.

Instead I’m sticking with the old classic, stuttgarter. They never let you down and have proved to be a stalwart allotment mate.

Plus they store much better than red ones. There are only so many onions anyone can eat, without losing friends.

My allotment to do list:

If you have a bare-rooted trees, shrubs or fruit bushes get them in right away.

Also if you haven’t done so already, prune soft fruit, apples, pears - not forgetting roses.

Sow your early peas. With any luck you will miss the pea moth; there’s nothing worse than a little grub in your pea pod.

If you have a patch of land that won’t be used for a long time yet, why not sow some quick growing green manure?

If you have an allotment query, you can email