Delay sowing until soil is warm

Gardening enthusiasts should postpone planting their seeds until the soil is "really warm", it has been suggested.

Writing in the online pages of the Guardian, Sue Stickland makes her point using carrots as an example, suggesting that more temperate earth will lead to seeds sprouting fast.

This, she asserts, will leave them less vulnerable to fungal diseases and pests such as slugs.

In order to assess the correct temperature, Ms Stickland suggests that gardeners keep an eye out for weeds and then sow their seeds when they begin to establish themselves.

Concluding, she explains that larger carrots for harvesting in autumn and winter can be sown from now until the beginning of June and that earlier sowings can be given extra warmth by covering them with cloches or clear polythene until they sprout.

Meanwhile, horticultural expert Medwyn Williams tells the BBC that carrots should be sown early on in the season to avoid carrot flies.