January is the start of the new gardening year and, if you haven’t already, now is the time to start thinking about all the fruit and vegetables you would like to grow during the year.
Good to grow now are:
Broad beans can be planted in pots in mild areas, placing them in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse.
Summer cabbage and cauliflowers, spinach, leeks, hardy peas, salad onions, carrots and turnips can be sown indoors for early crops.
Onion seeds can be planted in a heated propagator. Greenhouse tomato seeds can also be sown indoors in a heated propagator for an early crop.
Chitting early varieties of seed potatoes can start towards the end of the month. Place seed potatoes in a light, cool but frost-free place at about 10C. It helps to produce earlier and slightly larger crops of the earlier spring varieties of potato.
You can still plant bare-root fruit trees and fruit bushes, as long as the soil isn’t frozen.
January is also a good time to prune apples, pears, quinces, medlars, currants and gooseberries as well as autumn raspberries.
If you haven’t already, it’s a good time to net brassicas to protect them from pigeons and pick the yellowing leaves from brussels sprouts.
You can cover prepared seedbeds with cloches or clear plastic to warm the soil for early sowings.
Now is also a good time to improve drainage and fertility by working in lots of organic matter.