January in the Veg Patch

The beginning of a New Year means that spring is not too far away. Phew!! There isn’t a huge amount that needs to be done in the veg patch at the moment, but getting out there to spend a couple of hours pottering and doing a few little jobs here and there helps to open up some headspace and give us time to look forward to a new season of homegrown veg.

Jobs to do:

  • Top up compost – if you haven’t already done this, cover any empty beds with a layer of well-rotted organic manure OR compost. This’ll help improve your soil ready for spring.
  • Watch out for the first shoots from rhubarb, and pop a rhubarb forcer over them when they appear. This’ll give you an earlier, juicier harvest.
  • Mulch fruit plants and keep them protected from frost and snow. You can prune them this month too.
  • Remove the yellowing leaves from brassicas (particularly brussels sprouts) to keep your veg disease free.
  • Stake any taller brassicas to help them withstand strong winds.
  • Start repairing and preparing – fix up any damaged greenhouse panes, broken shed doors etc and make a start on getting new beds in place.
  • This is a good time to plan for spring planting – take a look at what is available and think about what you’d like to grow and how much space you have. A quick sketch is a good way of visualising where you can plant your veggies and will help work out how much you can fit in!
  • We’ll be shipping seed potatoes soon, as well as onion, garlic & shallot sets. Depending on weather and soil conditions, they can be planted from February/March onwards. It’s a good idea to chit your seed potatoes on a windowsill to give them  good headstart.

Harvesting:

If you’ve been growing over the winter then there should be plenty of produce to enjoy now. Winter salads, spinaches and lettuces can be picked as a cut & come again. Leeks can be pulled up as you want them. Celeriac and parsnips should be ready now too. You may still have the last of sprouting broccoli and cabbages to enjoy, as well as brussels sprouts. Winter Greens may need a little longer, but harvest them as soon as they reach a good size. Spring greens and spring onions won’t be ready until the first signs of spring.