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January : Planning your garden for the year ahead

Welcome to 2023! Wishing you all a happy and healthy year ahead! 

Did you make a wreath for your front door? I saw some beautiful creations.

This time last year I was talking about taking walks in the cold frosty outdoors looking at the glistening cobwebs. It’s been quite a change so far this year. I gladly don’t miss defrosting the car on a cold dark morning, but it feels wrong that we are seeing the effects of climate change.  A reminder that we need to do what is possible to make a difference. 

 

At the Allotment 

It’s been quite pleasant in the allotment after the ground thawed, we dug up leeks! The thought of home-made leek and potato soup, absolutely blissful. 

 

  

What to grow now

It’s a good time to make sure the greenhouse is clean and sterile along with tools and equipment, then put the kettle on and make plans. If you have an allotment or space to practice crop rotation, it’s a good idea to draw out your ideas. If not, then it’s a case of utilising the space you have. 

 

 

Salads and micro greens are something you can grow now. I love broad beans, so they’re an absolute must for me, these can be sown now in pots in an unheated greenhouse. Always my first thought, growing things to eat, Leeks, onions, carrot and spinach can be started now under cover, there’s nothing like home grown! 

 

Planning your blooms

Thinking about blooms, geraniums can be sown now along with lobelia, verbena and lupin to name a few. Flowers for cutting are irresistible, sweet peas can be started now undercover. I can’t wait for chrysanthemums and dahlias but for now it’s planning! 

 

 

Don’t forget to keep feeding the birds and make sure there’s water out for them too and check it’s not frozen.

 

Seeds

As I mentioned last year, it’s so easy to get carried away and order too many seeds so plan carefully! It’s always nice to trade with fellow allotment holders and give extra away to friends and family. If you can use the method of staggering planting, also known as successional planting. This way you would sow a little seed, then more a week or two later to give you a steady crop and keep the harvest going. It’s hard to keep up otherwise. 

 

 

Homemade pickles, jams and chutney

If you have time you can think about what it might be possible to store, pickle, make jam, fruit syrups and freeze. We love enjoying the fruits of our labour in winter. Chutney is a favourite of mine but my husband doesn’t thank me for filling the air with vinegar while it’s cooking!

 

 

Blow the leaves away

Keep clearing leaves especially around areas where it may become wet and slippy. Check out Mountfield’s range of leaf blowers here. Check paths and decking are clear and put some grit down if need be. Also check on older neighbours, see if they need help through the colder months. Perhaps gritting a path or taking their bin out.

 

 

Next month we will be talking about fruit trees, what to cut back, chitting potatoes and nest boxes. 

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