Pippa Greenwood what to plant in January
This is the first of a series that I will be producing over the year. So, if you want to get growing all year long then follow along and I will provide gardening inspiration each month. Here is what to plant in January.
1) How to Grow Broad Beans
It is easy to grow Broad Beans from seeds sown in January. They are the perfect vegetable to plant in winter. You can sow them outside direct into garden soil to overwinter. At this time of year though, I’d opt for sowing in a greenhouse, or on a well-lit window sill.
Sow the seeds about 5cm (2in) deep into Deep Rootrainers or individual 4" bamboo pots of good quality compost. You can use either multi-purpose or a seed & cuttings mix. Gently firm the compost and then water well, making sure that any excess can drain away freely. Stand the Rootrainers or pots in a well-lit spot and check regularly so that you can keep the compost just moist at all times. Take care not to make it too wet!
For full instructions check out our Grow at Home: Broad Beans blog.
2) How to Grow Carrots
Sow carrots in a Carrot or Deep vegetable planter or direct into the garden now, at this time of year choose early-maturing varieties like Amsterdam Forcing. Like most root crops they don’t respond well to being transplanted so sow them into containers that will be their permanent home. You will find growing carrots from seed is both cheaper and more successful than buying plug plants.
Carrots do best in a well-drained soil in a sunny spot. If, like me, you have a heavy clay soil and/or one which is stony, then it is easier to grow them in containers or raised beds. You are also less likely to get weirdly shaped and forked carrots at harvest time.
If sowing outside, fork the soil over and remove all weeds and as many stones as you can, then fork in some well-rotted manure or garden compost. If the weather is wet, I suggest covering the area of the row(s) you intend to sow with a cloche or with polythene for a week or so, just to prevent any more rain falling on it, and to warm it up a little. A clear polythene covered pull-out Easy Tunnel works brilliantly and can provide protection after sowing too, something they’ll need with these early sowings.
Sow the seed as thinly as possible, about 1cm deep and in rows 15-20cm apart. This will reduce the amount of thinning you have to do which in turn should reduce the carrot flies attracted to your crop.
For full carrot growing instructions check out this blog Grow at Home: Carrots
3) How to Grow Salad leaves
Freshly picked salad leaves take some beating and, by growing your own from seed you can choose the exact mix of varieties, leaf shapes, textures and colours that you like. You can buy some great ready-mixed packets of seed, or choose a few of your favourites and mix them together in a jar, then sow at regular intervals throughout the coming months.
At this time of year you’ll need to sow the seed in a greenhouse or well-lit window sill in to containers of good-quality multipurpose compost as the weather is still too wet and cold outside, even if you use a cloche. Just sprinkle the seeds thinly on the compost and cover with a thin sprinkling of sieved compost or vermiculite. Lettuce seeds don’t germinate if buried so deeply that all daylight is excluded. Once the seeds are in place water from below, as watering from above tends to wash the seeds into clumps.
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