There'll be beds ready to plant by early March, inshallah. But most plants (tatties excepted) will go out in May after the last frosts. So I want to get ground cover to keep the weeds away, fix some nitrogen, and help my much-shuffled and sodden soil to recover. Also to provide some cover for the frogs to resume their slug hunting duties.
What I want to do is to cover the entire allotment in something to cover the ground whilst I'm planting. Some places just want to be rested until I plant out the hedgerow in autumn, or the winter and spring vegetables later in the summer, so I need something to feed those areas and keep the weeds at bay (somewhat). I'll sow some phacelia, but the default plant is going to be white clover, (Trifolium repens). I remember local authority green spaces in the 60s used to be mostly grass, but there was a lot of white clover, too, and bumblebees loved it. In fact I got my first bee sting from one of them.
|By Forest & Kim Starr, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6158742|