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

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