Winter

Winter growing guides

The Vegetable Growing Year: Jobs to do in February

Spring is just around the corner but yet February can still be one of the coldest months of the year. If the weather permits you can start some early sowing or even plant outside. However, if the conditions aren’t right, delay your sowing until the weather warms up a little.

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The Vegetable Growing Year: Jobs to do in January

January is a time to catch up on those winter jobs that you’ve not done yet. I normally spend winter completing projects and generally preparing the ground for the season ahead (thats if the ground isn’t frozen). Even if you aren’t planning any projects, here’s some things you can do in January. (more…)

Vegetables to grow in the winter

The growing season is coming to an end but you’ve still got time to sow or plant out some vegetables to grow overwinter. You can sow in modules in a cold frame or in a greenhouse and plant out in a couple of weeks. If you don’t have access to a cold frame or greenhouse, you can use a fleece to help protect the young seedlings. (more…)

Warming the soil in the winter months

With the winter months approaching, it is time to start thinking about next spring and possibly getting a head start on the growing season. One way to do this is by creating a hotbed.  In its simplest form, a hotbed is a trench or raised bed filled with organic matter with soil on top. Not only does this keep the soil warm, but they are also great for improving the soil structure. To build a hotbed:

  1. Dig a trench roughly 6-10 inches deep and roughly a metre wide (for ease of access).
  2. Add a layer of woody material (bark chippings, twigs) roughly 6 inches deep.
  3. Add another layer of general garden waste such as grass clippings. You want this layer to be roughly 6-8 inches deep.
  4. Next add a layer of farmyard manure roughly 6 inches deep.
  5. Finally add a mixture of top soil and garden compost on top of the bed. This will be used to sow or plant your vegetables in.
  6. Your hotbed is ready to use. If you’ve used a raised bed, you can cover it with an old window to help keep the heat in.