Grow Your Own: January
It is usually so cold at this time of year that it takes a bit of effort to get motivated. Lucky for those who have the luxury of a greenhouse, especially a heated one, there is plenty that you can be getting on with in there. Seed can be sown now for early crops of lettuce, cauliflower, cabbage etc. If you have a heated propagator then you may sow your onion seeds now also.
Applying a winter wash to your fruit trees and bushes at this time of year is very beneficial. This should be carried out in the plants dormant period which will usually be between November and February. If you have done it earlier then it is possible to repeat this again just before it starts to come into growth again. This will help to control eggs, larvae and nymph of many pests. In days gone by it was popular to use tar based washes but this is no longer legal. Many products have been taken off the market but there are others that are suitable. The main two ingredients for winter wash now are plant extracted oils from oilseed rape or they are based on fish oils. We stock Vitax Tree Wash which has a mixture of both plant and fish oils. This can be diluted in water and sprayed over all bark and in all the ‘nooks and crannies’. Being an organic product it is not only suitable for all fruits, but can also be used on any trees and shrubs. Don’t forget to spray around the bottom of the tree or shrub after taking away any debris and fallen leaves.
You can start to plan out your vegetable beds now for spring time, if you haven’t done this already, remember that it is always best to be rotating your crops. The ground should being prepared and being exposed to the frost will help to improve the structure of your soil and assist on getting rid of some of the pests we could do without. If your ground is not frozen then it can be prepared for the start of the new season but use a plank of wood to stand on whilst you dig so as not to compact your soil with it being so wet.