The winter months are all about planning and preparation for the season ahead. This article looks at a few different ideas to help you get ahead so that you are ready to plant in spring.
- Spend time planning your plot. A quick sketch of what you intend to plant, and where, will help when it comes to planting up in spring.
- Harvest winter greens – kale, winter cabbage, spinach, chard and mustard leaves. Keep harvesting sprouts. Pull up celeriac, parsnips and leeks as you wish to use them.
- There are a few winter jobs, like turning the compost and checking netting hasn’t blown away, but you can largely relax and hibernate this month.
- The main thing on the job list this month is to choose and order your seed potatoes so that you can start chitting them ready to plant nice and early. (We start dispatching seed potatoes in Feb)
- Watch out for hard frosts if you’ve got crops growing, and waterlogging if we get heavy rains, particularly if growing in beds or pots with poor drainage.
- If the ground isn’t too hard, you can start digging over beds for your potatoes – it is worth then covering them with black polythene to warm the soil ahead of planting in March.
- Cut autumn fruiting raspberries right back to the ground if you haven’t already done so.
- You should be able to start harvesting spring onions and spring greens if you’ve been growing those over the winter.
- Towards the end of the month, you can plant first early seed potatoes in containers or in the ground – wait until April for second earlies and main crops.
- Get ready for spring – Start building new beds for the season ahead, clean down greenhouse windows, build compost bins from pallets, get water butts in place.
- Cover beds with polythene to help them warm up before planting.
- Get second earlies and main crop potatoes in the ground this month.
- Get bean supports up, so that you’re ready to plant once the last frosts are over.
- Weed beds thoroughly before you plant, and top up with compost to feed the soil. Be sure to have netting and slug traps at the ready.
- Don’t get too carried away with planting! If it’s still frosty, then it is better to wait for a few weeks until the weather has warmed up before planting out. You can temporarily plant in pots or grow bags under cover if needs be.
- Keep an eye out for updates on your order – we usually start dispatching spring plants from mid April onwards, and normally have most orders shipped by mid-late May.