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Monday 4 January 2016

This Month in your Garden - January

We circle with the seasons: Alfred, Lord Tennyson

A wet and windy, yet mild December saw daffodil bulbs peeping through early in the month and roses still flowering in many parts of the country.

The New Year forecasts mild to very mild in January and then beware the Jet Stream and prepare for cold February. That’s what we’re being told but none of it should prevent us celebrating the new year and enjoying the garden this month.

Lawn Care Guide - January

Keep off the grass

If it does get frosty try not to walk on the lawn, it can cause damage to the grass. But when it’s mild and wet you can seize the advantage and help to greatly improve drainage on compacted areas by spiking and aerating.

Grass needs sunlight, water, nutrients and air to grow so this way you’ll get oxygen and water to the roots while releasing carbon dioxide that has accumulated. Spiking with a garden fork is one way to do it until you can get the garden tractor with a spiker/aerator on the lawn when it’s drier.

The Big Glut Recipe - January

Risotto with blue cheese and leeks

Simply make and bake in the oven, no fuss.

15g unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
2 leeks, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g arborio risotto rice
175ml white wine
A few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves stripped
1.4 litres good-quality vegetable stock, hot
100g blue cheese, crumbled
50g (vegetarian) Parmesan, grated

The Vegetable Plot - January

The plot thickens

Crops in season include broccoli, Jerusalem artichoke, Brussels sprouts, celery and cauliflower to name but a few. Under glass this month you could start lettuces every two weeks in succession and be growing radishes, chicory, endive and rhubarb.

If you have a heated greenhouse or a propagator you would do well with French beans forced for a May crop as well as leeks in well-drained seed boxes.