"Grow Your Own" - Advice & Tips
General advice for vegetable & allotment gardening
January can be a strange month - often frosty and snow-covered, the ground lies hard and cold and it can seem there's not a lot for the average gardener to do. There a lots of jobs that can be done, however, that can save time and effort later on, when time can be more dedicated to the growing of things.
If you haven't caught up on your digging over from before Christmas, now is your chance (weather permitting). Digging over will also expose soil pests and create a tasty treat for the birds. It's also a not a bad way to work off some of that Christmas excess!
Keep the plot(s) tidy and don't forget to check that items such as tree stakes etc have remained stable after any winter storms.
Wash out propagators and sterilise, and test them to ensure the thermostat is working.
Clean and sterilise your greenhouse, if you have one, and insulate with bubble wrap. Ensure vents are free from obstruction, however. Make sure glass is washed and clean to ensure plants get the maximum amount of light.
Now is also a good time to look after your tools. Take time to inspect them for damage, clean them with hot soapy water, dry carefully and apply a thin coating of oil. Sharpening tools now, means less time wasted later in the year when you need to use them.
When it comes to planting, seed potatoes, onion sets, garlic and shallots can all be planted in January. Tomatoes can be sown, for growing off in a heated greenhouse this early - particularly Shirley F1 and Aromata F1 - both of which prefer growing under cover.