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.

Check your stores
If you’ve stored some vegetables for the winter, now is the time to check them. Check for any rot or pests that may have overwintered and discard any that are no good.

Early potatoes
Now is the time to start chitting your potatoes if you want an early crop. If you’ve got a greenhouse or a large coldframe, you could try planting a few tubers either in a border or a pot.

Preparing the ground
If you are planning on growing runner beans, now is the time to start your runner bean trench. Start by digging a trench roughly 12-14 inches deep and 12 inches wide. Fill with kitchen waste, newspaper and cardboard and cover with soil. Come spring the waste will have composted down providing rich damp soil for your beans.

If you haven’t done so already, add lots of organic matter to your potato beds and any other beds that need a boost of nutrients.

What you can be eating now

  • Parsnips, carrots (if kept in the right conditions) and swedes store well in the ground. Dig them up as and when you need them.
  • You should also have some winter brassicas left such as sprouts, cabbage and kale. In extreme weather it is worth protecting them from the elements.
  • Continue pulling your leeks.

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