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Thursday 2 January 2020

The Vegetable Plot - January

Brassy brassicas and lush lettuce

Many vegetables at this time of the year come from abroad, so if you have grown and stored your own your pocket and ecology will benefit. Onions, carrots, turnips, potatoes, swedes and shallots stored in autumn should be checked for any rot which might spread. Leeks and parsnips can be harvested now along with Brussels sprouts, cabbages, spinach beet, celery and Jerusalem artichokes if the ground is not too frosty and hard.

Root crops such as parsnips still in the ground will benefit from being covered with straw, while lettuce and other vegetables you’re overwintering should be covered with cloches during the worst weather. Remove yellow leaves from winter brassicas – they don’t need them and they might harbour disease and pests.

Digging over empty beds now breaks up the soil and lets the frost break it down to a good tilth. If you have a heated greenhouse or frame you can sow carrots and onions and around mid-month salads such as lettuce and radishes.

By the end of the month, if you can control the temperature in the greenhouse, sow leeks, French beans and even early crop tomatoes.

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