Monthly Growing Guide By Alan J Hartley For
Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Seeds To Sow
There isn’t a lot growing in January, but there are a few seeds that can be sown under cover including a few of the sow “All Year Round,” type vegetables. There are varieties of these for both Cabbages and Raddichio to name but two. Some white Cauliflower varieties can also be sown now.
Later on in the month and into February you can sow Sweet Peas in deep pots, under cover, and start “Chitting,” early Potatoes in a light place that’s out of the reach of any frost. “Chitting,” simply means to start the dormant buds or “Eyes,” on the Potatoes into growth, which gives them a flying start when they do go into the ground. However, the shoots don’t want to be allowed to get too long and floppy, or else that spoils the advantage and may set them back.

Other Jobs.
Some plants are starting into growth, or at least will be soon. One of these is Sea Kale. Many people grow this as an Herbaceous plant for its frothy flower heads and big architectural leaves, but it is also an old fashioned Victorian vegetable that is an earlier alternative crop to Asparagus. It is not the leaves that you eat, but the long stalks that you draw out or Force and Blanche by covering the Sea Kale Crowns with upturned buckets before they shoot. The shoots are susceptible to Slug damage so it is best to add a few Slug Pellets under each Bucket.

If the ground is not too wet, one job of preparation that can be done is to dig out a long trench where you are going to plant your Runner Beans. This trench can have a thick layer of old Newspapers put in the bottom covered by a generous layer of part rotted compost, or almost any other coarse vegetation – even dead weeds, as long as they don’t include Perennials, before topping up with a layer of soil. This will continue to rot before you plant in May and will give good moisture retention to the ground that your Runner Beans will love.

Another job that can be done about now that most people don’t even give a second thought to, is feeding all your fruit trees. Most people forget that trees need food just like any other plant. They are in the same place year after year and if you are not in the habit of mulching them, just as you might for something like Rhubarb, you should give them a good feed that will especially help with fruit production. Putting a sprinkling of Lime round any stone fruit like Cherries and Plums is also very beneficial as it helps with the production of the “Stones,” and stops the embryo fruit from dropping.


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