January in the Veg Patch

January is probably the quietest month in the kitchen garden, but there are one or two things that you can get on with and we’ll be shipping bare-rooted fruit plants & trees over the next few weeks too. If you can get yourself out there to spend a couple of hours pottering, doing a few little jobs here and there helps to open up some headspace and time to enjoy looking forward to a new season of homegrown veg.

Jobs to do in January:

  • 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.
  • Protect plants from harsh frosts, hail, snow – a layer of horticultural fleece works well.
  • 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!
  • Plant bare-rooted fruit – you can plant out bare-rooted strawberry runners, bare-rooted fruit bushes as well as our new bare-rooted fruit trees, including plums, apples and pears.
  • We’ll be shipping seed potatoes soon. 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 in January:

If you’ve been growing over the winter then there should be plenty of produce to enjoy now.

Winter salads, spinach, chard, pak choi & tatsoi, 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 have the first of sprouting broccoli to enjoy, as well as the last of the brussels sprouts.

Winter Greens can be harvested as soon as they reach a good size. Spring greens and spring onions won’t normally be ready until the first signs of spring.