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Saturday 2 January 2021

The Vegetable Plot - January

 A little gem of propagation 

It is not too early to be thinking about the vegetable plot. But while your first sowings will be indoors you can get on and prepare an area for planting later. It’s handy to cover the soil with cloches or thick polythene, weighted down. This will keep the bed dry and warmer while making it easier to work when you’re ready and weather permits. 

Indoors on a windowsill or in the greenhouse, you can start sowing to grow plants that will go outside from mid-February under cloches or horticultural fleece. Lettuce, such as ‘Little Gem’ and ‘Tom Thumb don’t need high temperatures to germinate, 13°C (55°F)  will be enough. You can prick them out at about 5cm (2”) and grow them on in plenty of light. Order your seed potatoes or pick them up at the garden centre and ‘chit’ them in egg boxes, with the ends that have the most eyes facing upwards. Give them maximum light in a cool but frost-free place. 

On the windowsill, hardy annuals, herbaceous plants and vegetables will germinate happily at room temperatures in a propagator. For more ambitious growing a large heated propagator or heated greenhouse will keep you well occupied. Towards the end of the month, you can start pea and broad bean sowing.

  • Under glass start lettuces every two weeks in succession
  • Grow radishes, chicory, endive and rhubarb, even peaches
  • Add compost to vegetable beds ready for sowing 
  • Sow tomatoes indoors in trays on a bright windowsill 

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