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Jobs to do on the Allotment in January
January is generally a very cold month with hard frosts freezing the ground and when the ground isn't frozen it is generally too wet to do much although there are no guarantees with British weather. Looking through my diaries, snow isn't that likely for a prolonged period but you never know.


Fruit Trees & Bushes
Vegetable Jobs
Jobs Around the Plot
Fruit Trees & Bushes January

Fruit jobs in January

Fruit & Nut Trees

  • Keep checking stored fruits and remove rotten ones.
  • Ensure tree stakes and ties are firm and sound.
  • Harvest citrus fruits once mature.
  • Prune apples, pears, quinces and medlars.

Soft Fruits

  • Prune currants and gooseberries.
  • Prune autumn raspberries.
  • General care.
  • Apply winter washes to fruit trees and bushes.
  • Plant bare-root trees and bushes, as long as the soil isn't frozen.
  • Apply a top dressing of sulphate of potash to all fruits and nuts
Vegetable jobs in January

Vegetable jobs in January

Sowing and Planting

  • Sow broad beans in pots in mild areas, placing them in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse.
  • Sow seed indoors for early crops eg: lettuces, summer brassicas (e.g. cabbages and cauliflowers), spinach, salad onions and turnips.
  • Sow onion seed in a heated propagator.

General care

  • Draw the soil up around the stalks of cabbages and winter cauliflowers to just under the first set of leaves.
  • Check over Brussels sprouts and sprouting broccoli and support them with a strong stake to prevent them from being blown over in high winds.
  • Pack some straw or fleece around celery to protect it from any damaging frosts but remove it on sunny days to let the plants breathe.
  • Force chicory to produce plump leafy heads.
  • Cultivate and prepare seed beds covering them with clear polythene, cloches or fleece to warm up the soil before sowing.
  • If the weather is reliably dry and frosty, leave heavy soils exposed - the frosts will kill pests and improve soil structure by the continual freezing and thawing of soil water.
  • Improve drainage of heavy soils by working in lots of organic matter. Grit will only be effective when used in conjunction with organic matter.
  • When gardening on wet soils work from a plank of wood, rather than treading on the bed, to avoid compacting the soil.
  • Save egg boxes as they will come in handy for potato chitting next month. Source your seed potatoes if you have not already done so.
  • Plan a rotation system for vegetable plots to ensure the same crops are not grown in the same beds year after year to help prevent disease build-up.
  • Dig up rhubarb roots and divide them leaving the sections on the surface of the soil for a few days to let them be frosted prior to forcing. Cover any crowns in the soil that have been set aside for forcing with an upturned bucket or flower pot and cover the drainage holes to shut out the light. With luck you will be harvesting pale pink sticks by late February.
Jobs Around the Plot in January

Jobs Around the Plot

Jobs in January

Shed Repairs & Maintenance

  • Check guttering if fitted.
  • Check water butts etc.

General care

  • Take advantage of days when the soil is frozen hard to barrow and stack manure and compost close to where it will be dug in later on.
  • Don’t walk on the soil as it begins to thaw it will be wet and sticky.
Harvesting in January

Ready for Harvest in January

  • Sprouting broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Leeks
  • Parsnips
  • Swede
  • Celeriac
  • Turnips
  • Any Oca not already harvested

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