Monthly Archives: January 2016

Seed & Plant Orders

Now is the best time to order your seeds, plants and sundry items for the coming growing season.  I try to take advantage of whatever discounts are on offer and it’s worth checking what seed company your local gardening club / Horticultural Society is affiliated to as they tend to receive large discounts.

For example my local village club is linked to Dobies and with our online code I received just over 50% off my seed order (also 10% off plants/sundries) which is a great saving.  I’m also a member of the National Vegetable Society which is linked to Marshalls who offer a straight 10% off orders over £30.

I had plenty of seeds left over from last season which are still viable so only needed to stock up on a few such as leeks and squash.  I’ve bought some strawberry plants and a few extra raspberry canes – Marshalls added 5 free strawberry plants as I had just over £20 of soft fruit and with a few sundry items I received the 10% discount for an over £30 spend.  I know these offers are there to tempt you in but if you were going to buy the items anyway it’s worth shopping around.

One final recommendation at this time of year is to visit a local potato day if you can.  They are a great place to buy cheap seed potatoes – all of which can be bought as singles or in packs so you can try out different varieties very cheaply.  Plus they have lots of veg growing related stalls – my local Potato Day is the Hampshire one based at Whitchurch, well worth a visit.

Happy gardening!



Monthly jobs – January

Despite the often freezing conditions there’s still plenty of jobs to be getting on with on the plot and in the garden this month………….

Under Cover
• Start to chit seed potatoes in trays making sure they are frost free.  The speed of chitting depends on the temperature so keep an eye on them as you’re aiming for a healthy chit of a few mm by the time you plant them out in March.
• Clean greenhouse panes thoroughly – Jeyes Fluid is ideal for this. Disinfect and light a sulphur candle to deal with any pests and diseases.
• Insulate greenhouse with bubble-wrap to retain heat if you are starting plants early.
• Pot on winter lettuces.
• Move strawberry pots into a warm greenhouse to bring them on early.
• Check stored fruit, veg and any tubers to ensure rot has not started.

On the Plot
• Keep removing yellowing leaves from brassicas.
• Firm any loosened shallots and onions. Plant sets if you haven’t already.
• Dig a trench for runner beans and fill with green kitchen waste.
• Plant garlic, sow broad beans if the ground is not frozen.
• Put forcing jar, or similar, on top of emerging rhubarb to force crop of tender stems early. Also a good time to lift and divide crowded rhubarb.
• Cover bare soil with fleece or cloches to warm up for sowing.
• If soil is workable continue to dig over and add manure if not already done so.
• Test soil to gauge its requirements for the coming season.

In the Garden
• Tidy up borders, cut back grasses before new growth emerges, and mulch.
• Good time to move shrubs if they are in the wrong position.
• Take hardwood cuttings.
• Plant new Roses. Prune existing plants.
• Avoid walking on lawns in frosty weather and remove fallen leaves regularly. If conditions are suitable it’s a good time to tidy-up lawn edges.
• Service lawn mower and check over garden tools.

Help Wildlife
• Continue to top up bird tables and feeders, and unfreeze bird bath.
• Great time to build a nest box to encourage more birds into your garden, they’ll return the summer eating pests in summer.

• Summer flowering bulbs for spring planting.
• Order veg and summer bedding seeds if you haven’t already.

Harvest – if you’re fortunate enough to still have any veg left on the plot……..
Leek, Parsnip, Swede, Kale, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Carrot, Celeriac, Brussel Sprouts, Purple Sprouting, Jerusalem Artichokes.

If you have any other January jobs please share them by adding a comment to this post. Whatever you decide to do this month enjoy your garden!