With Christmas Day almost over and with the shortest day of the year behind us, it’s time to start thinking about the new year. In the past few years I have waited until the start of spring to sow seeds but this year I am determined to start sooner. Its a shame to see the garden bare and the greenhouse standing empty. So come January, I will be filling up some pots and sowing some seeds in my greenhouse.
I’ve spent some time looking for seeds to sow in these months of short and dark days. The short days and low temperatures are not known for being productive months in the garden. There are some really helpful sites which set out what to grow each month. The Royal Horticultural Society website is extremely handy and gives just enough detail to help, but not too much it puts you off. Being a child of generation Y I will always try to find the easiest option which will give the quickest result; researching on one site and trying to find another to buy from just takes too much time. So I was pleased to find Sutton’s seeds set their website into different ways to categorise the seeds they sell. An option of “what to grow in….” was most useful and resulted in me buying a range of seeds which can all be sown in Jan.
I’ve also decided to give micro greens a go. I’ve watched a few urban farming youtube videos which swear by micro greens. It will be an interesting experiment, who know I may be able to scale up and sell some; if not, at least I can have a steady supply of tasty, vitamin filled salads.
My sowing list for this January is:
Aubergine (Black Beauty) – I’ve never grown Aubergines so this will be interesting. Sowing in January should give me a crop from August to October. These grow into nice plants so I will most likely put these in pots and keep them at home in my garden.
Leeks (Lyon – Prizetaker) – Leeks have been a productive part of my garden for several years but I normally get given young plants by my wife’s Granddad. Unfortunately, his is getting too old to garden (he’s 94) and it will be nice to sow some for him. I should be able to harvest these from August to January. As these can stay in the ground until harvested and tend to look after themselves, I will pop these down the allotment.
Strawberry (Regina) – I inherited some strawberry plants a couple of years ago but they were very poor producers so I have retired these to the compost heap and starting off a new crop. My children really love picking and eating strawberries so I hope these will be good producers and will offer some fruit in their first year. As these will need an eye kept on them and regular picking when they fruit, I’ll keep these in the garden.
Lettuce (Unrivalled) – I have it on good authority (Sutton Seeds) that this variety can be sown under glass in January for early transplanting and harvesting. It will be great to get a jump on the year and have an early salad in spring. These will need to stay in the greenhouse for the first part of their life before being transplanted into the garden.
Carrots (Amsterdam Forcing) – I always tend to forget about growing carrots despite their ease and wonderful addition to a roast. The taste of fresh carrots is far superior to those bought in shops, I really don’t know why I don’t grow these more often. I can start sowing as early as January and sequentially throughout the year to keep a supply going.
Pea shoots (Twinkle) – Part of my micro-green experiment, pea shoot are tasty with salads and quick to grow. These will need to be grown indoors during the cold months but I can keep sowing and can be kept supplied all year round which is why they are so liked by urban farmers who need an income throughout the year.
Breansprouts (Mung Bean) – The second crop in my micro-green experiment. Beansprouts are wonderful in a stir fry and, like Pea Shoots, can be produced all year round.
Salad Onion (Laser) – I love adding onions to salads for that extra kick and sowing these in January will give me a supply from July to September
Here’s to a more productive 2019.