My planned activities for this month - January

Activity Comment
Make seed mats/strips MOVED TO FEBRUARY TO DO LIST
Purchase timber to complete bed edges 04-01-16 purchased timber delivery tomorrow - 05-01-16 Timber arrived PM
Construct wooden edge to beds 11-01-16 made bed edges will fit in position once Brassica Plants have been removed
Set-out potatoes for chitting in Greenhouse 04-01-16 started the chitting process
Sow early seeds at home : Tomatoes, Cauliflower MOVED TO FEBRUARY TO DO LIST
Complete addition of compost to beds without Green Manure MOVED TO FEBRUARY TO DO LIST
Finalize seeds for September - November sowing for over wintering MOVED TO FEBRUARY TO DO LIST
Make Wicking Pots ready for greenhouse. 05-01-16 started making the water reservoir for my wicking pots 09-01-16 completed reservoirs compost will be added when planting up Pots.
Start container grown potatoes in greenhouse 11-01-16 planted Three potatoes "Vanessa" in each of two containers in greenhouse
Build Rain water collection system for greenhouse and shed 12-01-16 Collected water containers

January Allotment Blog 2016

31st January

I made several visits to the allotment since the 12th January, but that was only to check the plot and to harvest crops including: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Celeriac, Leeks, and Parsnips.

12th January

Rain water buts

An excellent morning at the allotment it was cold and bright with some wind. I spent some time clearing up glass that had broken from glass frames which will need to taken to the local tip at some time. I spent the rest of my time collecting and organising some water troughs and water-buts to start collecting rain from the newest shed and greenhouse, see image on left. On my next visit I hope to install the guttering to collect the rain. I have room for another water-but so I will keep my eye out for one. I then called it a day and returned home for lunch.

11th January

timber edging made for beds

Quite a lot of rain again overnight so left for the allotment a little later than normal. I started by making the timber edging for my beds see image on the right. I will set them in place once my Brassica bed has been cleared later in the year. I then sorted the old greenhouse out a little and decided to plant up some first early potatoes ( Vanessa ) in containers ( Marshalls Potato Bags ) in the greenhouse for a nice early crop of new potatoes. The rest of my potatoes will be planted directly in the ground later in the year. Time was marching on so I returned home for my lunch.

9th January

wicking pots in the greenhouse

A nice bright morning after a couple of days of rain, but it is starting to get colder. I continued working on my Wicking Pots and have placed 19 in the newer greenhouse. When I am ready to plant these pots I will finish them by adding a membrane above the wicking system and add the growing medium ( compost perlite and plant food ), as the three buckets in the middle of the greenhouse. See image on the left. I am still working on the wicking pots for the older greenhouse which will be setup the same as the image on the left. The only reason I have had to stop production is that I have run out of plastic bottles. The ground was far too wet to do any other task at the allotment this morning so I returned home for lunch.

6th January

After a misty start the weather brightened, so I had an excellent morning at the allotment. Firstly I made a video covering the making of my Wicking Pots ready for the greenhouse. I need to finish the video at home and then I will upload it to You Tube and it will also be found on this website in the video section "From The Allotment Shed" called " Greenhouse Wicking Pots". I then spent time clearing my cabbages, I managed to save two that were in good condition the others were full of rotting leaves. I put this down to the continued warm weather for this time of the year. There were a couple of cabbages that were sprouting new growth with the rest of the leaves rotting around the new growth. I have even got my Purple Sprouting Broccoli producing shoots So we will be eating them very soon. I harvested some Brussels Sprouts before returning home for lunch.

5th January

making a wicking pot

A great morning at the allotment I went mainly to receive my timber delivery. While I was waiting I started to make the water reservoirs for my wicking pots that I will be using to grow my greenhouse crops ( Tomatoes, Peppers, Cucumbers) et. The image on the right shows one of the reservoirs added to a 13Lt bucket that I am using as the pots for the greenhouse. Later I will make a video on how I made them. I found out that my delivery will not be arriving until this afternoon, so I packed up and went home for lunch. I returned to the allotment after lunch just in time to receive my timber delivery. I stored the timber and called it a day by returning home for a nice cup of tea and a well earned rest.

4th January

chitting potatoes in Greenhouse

A nice dry day today so I went to the allotment, unfortunately my car battery was flat so I had to put the battery on charge so I did not start at the allotment until after lunch. My fist task was to take the empty bottles left over from Christmas to the recycle bin that is situated near the allotment entrance. I also added the composting materials from home to the allotment compost bin. Finally I set about chitting my potatoes which you can see from the image on the left. After that I went to the local timber merchant a purchased my timber to edge my beds. This timber will be delivered to the allotment tomorrow. Lastly I went and purchased some seed compost ready to start sowing my fist seeds for 2016.

2nd January

making seed mat for easy sowing

Too wet for an allotment visit this morning so I am spending my time at home making some seed strips and mats. Also making sure I have the required seeds for this growing season. The image on the right shows seeds sown on tissue paper, another sheet of tissue paper will be added on top and then stored in a dry container until it is sown directly in the seed bed on the allotment. I have already received my main seed that where purchased in October, but I am also looking for seeds that can be sown late summer early autumn to extend the 2016 harvest season and over winter giving an early spring harvest for 2017. The large image at the top of the page shows my onions, leeks, and garlic that were sown in January 2013 in the greenhouse under bubble wrap to help protect them from the elements.

January

What needs doing this month

Fruit:

  • 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.

Vegetables:

  • 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.

 

Herbs:

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

 

Greenhouse:

  • 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

General:

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