Things to do in January

Top tasks for January - Only the mildest of days are likely to drag you out to the allotment in January. Spend time ordering seeds and sketch out a plan for what you are going to grow and where on the plot you will grow it.

 

• Harvest hardy winter varieties of cabbages, cauliflowers and other brassicas, plus leeks, celeriac and root vegetables such as parsnips, swedes and winter radishes

 

• Spread well rotted manure or compost over empty beds

 

• Warm up areas of seedbeds by covering them with sheets

 

• Buy and start to chit seed potatoes

 

• Winter prune established apple and pear trees

 

• Check fruit cages for damage and make repairs if required

 

• Devise your sowing and planting plan for the year

 

Sow or plant in January

Broad beans - as long as the ground is not frozen sow broad beans, otherwise sow in pots and keep under cover until spring

 

Fruit trees and bushes - plant new bare root trees and bushes during the winter months when they are dormant

 

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Garlic - plant only in mild areas and only if the soil is not frozen or waterlogged. Otherwise wait until February or March

 

Onions and Leeks - to give them the longest possible growing season sow seeds in modules and keep indoors at a temperature of at least 10C.

 

Transplant outdoors in March or April

Peas - for a very early crop, sow seeds in pots under glass and harden off to plant outdoors in March or April

 

Rhubarb - plant new sets or divide and replant old crowns at any time during the winter. Rhubarb will happily tolerate the cold but doesn’t like being waterlogged