Aside from the early sowings of cime di rapa and radish in the cold frames, we have held back from direct sowings until the weather conditions and soil temperature improved. Sowings that might otherwise have been made at the start of April, or even the latter half of March in a warm spring, have waited until the end of April, but sowing into cold soil is not a good idea. Seed may rot before germinating, especially in wet conditions, or otherwise may germinate slowly. Later sowings, when conditions are more favourable, can catch up and, indeed, a plant grown without checks in growth caused by poor weather may be rather better than an early starter that has had a hard life.
Now, though, with reasonable soil temperatures, we have made our first direct sowings outdoors. Our most important crop from this batch is the parsnips but we also started some carrots, Hamburg parsley, dill, and turnips. Apart from the turnips, these are all a little slow to get going and best sown under good conditions.