Today was the start of my seasons planting with sweet peas and onion sets. I’m trying a new technique with the onions to get them off to an early start and to protect them from the birds without having to cover them up with netting. Birds see the little brown tops of the onions sticking out of the ground and think it might be a worm so they pull them all out. Gardeners World magazine suggested planting the sets in individual seed pots to get them started and as we have an unseated greenhouse I’m leaving them in there away from the birds. They are very hardy so cold won’t bother them but they don’t like soggy soil so I can keep them dry in there too. I always start my sweet peas in root training modules and then plant out later. I was going to buy some dark colour varieties this year as I like these much better then the whites and pale pinks but I didn’t get round to it so I’ve used a free packet that came with one of my gardening mags. We alway do really well with sweet peas on the allotment and at times during the summer I can pick armfuls in one go. The other job done today was to empty one of our compost heaps on to the bed where we will be planting our peas and beans. I love the look of the bed when the job is completed with a covering of rich dark compost raked over. I will be planting broad beans first at the end of March direct in to the soil as they are pretty easy to grow. They grow incredibly quickly and are delicious fresh from the pod. We also decided to remove our strawberry plants from their beds as we have had them a few years now and they should be replaced regularly. We grow them now in raised beds as we had lots of problems with slugs and weeds when growing them in open ground. We used the other compost bin to fill up the beds once the old plants were removed so now we need to find some new plants ready for a great crop of juicy strawberries, though not many make it home as they are picked and eaten while we work!