January 2014

Friday 31st January

Untidy shed

Had a couple of hours at the allotment this morning although rather cold and damp. I harvested the last of my parsnips, leeks, and chinese broccoli. I also dug up another Brussels sprout plant including the Brussel Top. I still have some Brussels sprouts left and a few very small January king cabbages. I then cleaned up the raised bed in the greenhouse. The shed and greenhouse still needs a good clean and tidy up, I will do this on my next visit this weekend. I intend to remove the white bench and all other items from the greenhouse and replace it with some shelving, and another raised bed ready for planting this season. The image shows what the state of my shed is in.

Saturday 4th January

Untidy shedFirst visit to the allotment this year. The reason for this visit was to check for any wind damage, which I was lucky as the allotment was as I left it. I just harvested some Brussels Sprouts and Parsnips. Finally I composted food items from home. I have had several visits to the allotment in December 2013 but I only harvested brassicas leeks and parsnips. No work had been carried out so I did not make any diary entries for December. The image on the left shows my allotment for January. The green manure has taken well. All my seeds and potatoes have been ordered for this year, I am just waiting for their arrival.


What needs doing this month


  • Inspect stored fruit and discard any that has rotted
  • Spray fruit trees and bushes with a tar-oil winter wash
  • continue planting if soil conditions are suitable
  • check stakes, ties, framework supports and wires and replace or repair, if required
  • Continue pruning trees and bushes
  • any trees and bushes grown on grass need a nitrogen feed this month.


  • plant rhubarb roots
  • cover established rhubarb with compost
  • to encourage early rhubarb growth cover with straw or a large bin
  • Shallots can be planted if the soil is well drained
  • Take Chicory roots into the greenhouse for forcing.
  • Order Potato tubers and when they arrive place in trays to chit.
  • Lift Celery, Parsnips and Jerusalem Artichokes as required.
  • Clear away stems and roots of cabbages that have finished cropping.
  • If the soil is not too wet dig over any beds ready for planting in spring.
  • Cover with Black polythene or cloches, any beds that will be used for early crops. This will help to warm the soil.
  • Inspect any vegetables still in store for decay.
  • Celery may need extra protection if the weather is severe.
  • In milder areas sow Lettuce, Carrots, Radish, Onions, Broad beans and round seeded Peas under cloches for early crops.
  • Clean any decaying leaves from over wintering lettuce in cold frames.
  • Continue winter digging if ground conditions permit.
  • Clear away the stems of Brussels Sprouts that have been picked.
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Kale should now be ready for harvesting.



  • This is a good time to plan your herb garden while the plants are dormant



  • Insulate greenhouse
  • sow early tomatoes for heated greenhouse
  • sow dwarf French beans, leeks and onions
  • chit seed potatoes
  • plant early pot-grown potatoes and rhubarb for forcing
  • sow peas in guttering for an early start


  • service mechanical machinery ready for spring
  • check the seed catalogues and order any seeds onion sets and plants required
  • check sundries like stakes, bean poles, canes, netting, fertilisers etc.
  • tidy up the shed while its still quite quiet.