The Vegetable Patch in January

The Fruit Garden in January
Other Gardening Jobs in January

Spread well-rotted manure and compost
Add bulk and nutrients to your soil. You don’t have to dig it in yet, just spread it over the soil and the weather and worms will do some of the work for you.

Sow chilli and tomato seeds
Both these crops benefit from a long growing season. Start them off indoors towards the end of the month to give them a flying start.

Harvest winter veg
There are still a lot of vegetables that can be picked, mostly roots and brassicas, including leeks, scorzonera, celeriac, parsnips, brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, swede and turnip.

Don’t dig your soil
Don’t be tempted to dig heavy waterlogged soil. It won’t be enjoyable and you can easily destroy the soil structure. Don’t dig if the soil sticks to your boots as you walk across. Wait until drier weather.

Chit potatoes
If you’ve already got your seed potatoes (many are in the garden centres now) then chit them in old egg boxes. Keep in the cool, light (but not direct sunlight) and dry. A shed window is ideal.

Hunt for slugs
Anything left in the garden will probably have a few slugs curled up beneath it. Lift any pots, buckets and planks, and remove all dead leaves and plant debris. Start the year with as few slugs as possible.

Protect cauliflowers
Snap and bend one of the leaves over the cauliflower head to protect it from frosts. This will also help keep the florets white.

Buy seeds and garden supplies
Take a trip to your local garden centre or buy your seeds online. January is a good month to think about what you will be growing this year, and any supplies you will be needing, such as seeding compost, plants pots and trays. Be prepared so that you are ready to go.

Plant salad leaves
Salad leaves can be grown undercover, either in the house or in a greenhouse. They grow more slowly than in spring but will still give you lovely fresh leaves. Cress is a great crop to grow in the winter and livens up all kinds of sandwiches.



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