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Rooko's January Top 10 Tryouts & Tips

1. Due to the recent nationwide wet weather, now is a good time for doing some of those gardening tasks that can be done undercover such as cleaning, repairing and sharpening gardening tools or purchasing new ones to replace those that are worn out. Well sharpened tools are easier to use than those that are not.

2. Don't leave it too late to order plant seeds or they may arrive too late to meet their sowing dates.

3. Now is a good time to check any stored vegetables for diseases, rot, mould or insect damage.

4. Digging of heavy soils should be completed this month. No dig beds will just need clearing of debris and weeds. If your soil is very acidic, the addition of lime, after digging, will help plants avail themselves of many nutrients. Do not lime directly after manure has been added to the ground.

5. Continue to clear away fallen leaves, other decaying vegetation, pots and items of debris lying around your garden or plot. Doing this will cut down on the amount of hiding places for slugs and snails.

6. Replace those tired old rose plants with new bare root varieties in January, unless your ground is frozen or waterlogged.

7. Forcing of vigorous growing Rhubarb plants can be started this month.

8. Onions can be sown from seed this month. Sow into compost in trays or plugs. Keep them at an approximate temperature of 20C. Transplant to individual pots when the plants are about 2 inches tall and once they are well rooted transfer them to a cold greenhouse or cold frame to harden off, before planting out into their final prepared onion bed.

9. If you intend to grow Runner beans this season, now is the time to make a Runner bean trench. Dig out the trench approximately 30 to 40 cm deep & wide and to the length you require. Line the trench with cardboard/newspaper and add kitchen waste, old brassica stems etc. Replace the soil over the waste materials when they have almost filled the trench. (Note: Do not use plastic covered cardboard).

1. The use of poly tunnels or greenhouses in January & February is very useful.
2. Sow round seeded peas in trays/pots or direct if your ground is not saturated or inhabited by mice. Protect with cloches if necessary.
3. Winter Salads/oriental greens can be sown in trays/pots indoors for later planting out.
4. In warmer areas try hardy oriental greens under cloches.
5. Try Winter Lettuce again protect with cloches or tunnels.
6. Sow Broad Beans, protect if necessary.
7. Sow bulb Onion seeds under glass.
8. Sow Brussels Sprouts & carrots but protect from frost.
9. Harvest Sprouts, force Rhubarb, prune Apple & Pear trees.
1. Dig over any areas of the plot not already done, but take care as heavy wet soil will be damaged by digging,
2. Add organic matter or fertilizer depending on which crop is to be planted.
3.  Salvage fallen leaves for making leaf mould.
4.  Keep your plot tidy, check stakes/trees are secure from winds.
5. Fill any trenches (for runner beans) with compost/kitchen waste.
6.  Order seeds for later use.
7. Clean and disinfect greenhouses.
8. Feed the birds.


  1. Seed order will go in next week so that marks the start of the new season.

    1. Yes, a good way to mark the start of a new season. Just ordered my seed potatoes and some asparagus crowns. The rest of my seeds are saved or spares from last year. Very little outlay again this year if they germinate.


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