One of my Christmas presents was a gardening book simply called Vegie Patch, which I had previously borrowed from the library and liked its layout and good general information so put it on my wish list. It has a monthly diary of jobs to do, what to harvest and what to sow. I thought I would have a go and following it’s recommendations and see if I agree with them. So here is the list for January:
Harvest beans, zucchini, carrots, beetroots, onions, shallots, new potatoes and salad greens (check for everything except I haven’t got any onions or shallots in this year).
Pick cherries, peaches, apricots, plums, currants, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries and blueberries (I wish, though I have been picking a few strawberries).
Sow another crop of beetroots, sweetcorn, French beans and lettuce (I tried the beetroots but they didn’t survive the hail, since then I haven’t planted anything as we’ll be away in Feb)
Pick your first ripe tomatoes (did this in December, yay)
Water as often as you can to keep crops growing healthily and to prevent them from bolting (thankfully rain has helped with this, but my pak choy did bolt and my zucchinis seem to have suffered from inconsistent watering a little)
Feed tomatoes regularly and pinch out side shoots (check, though they probably need another feed soon and I didn’t pinch out the side shoots, but definitely will next year)
Thin out apples and pears if it looks like you’re going to have a bumper crop (I WISH! maybe one day)
It then goes into a little more detail on what to sow, jobs to do and pests or diseases to combat. As I mentioned above I’m not planting anything from now until we get back from our holiday in February, but I was interested to see what the recommend planting now regardless. What concerned me most was this bit about leeks – ” Finish transplanting or ‘dibbing in’ leeks raised in pots, or temporary seedbeds. They should all be in their final growing position for winter.” I was planning on having a go at leeks this year, but it seems I might have missed the boat on that one.
Under the jobs category, first up is weeding and they certainly have that one right. A bit of rain followed by some sunshine and the weeds (and plants) go berserk. It also suggests spraying the flowers of beans with water to stop them falling and to encourage the formation of pods. I have not heard of this before, has anyone else? My beans are going really well as it is, so I’m not sure I need to, but maybe I’ll try it on a few plants and see if it makes any difference.
The disease and pest section was pretty light on and didn’t actually cover any of the issues I’ve been having in the garden – whitefly, blackspot on the tomatoes and zucchinis that don’t develop fully.
So that’s January in a nutshell.