January is a cold, dark and wet month here in Norfolk, UK. It is far from being my favourite month. There is nothing pleasant about being outside this time of the year, especially when the log fire is roaring in the lounge and a Sunday roast is on the go.
It’s the time of the year when I have to dig deep for motivation, and I turn to my source of inspiration – River Cottage. If you have never seen this series, it is a television show which shares an idealistic view of living a Smallholders life in the south of England. I know it does not represent the realities and struggles of running a Smallholding, but it is enough to inspire me to pull on my boots and step out into the cold. If I want an abundant crop later in the year, I need to put the effort in now.
Broad Beans can be sown under cover this time of the year in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse. With my greenhouse out of service, my broad beans will be planted in the main bed but covered with a plastic closh.
Lettuce, spinach and summer brassicas for an early crop can be planted indoors. As much as I would like to do this, I’m not sure my wife would appreciate it, especially with all the building work taking place.
It’s an excellent time to improve the soil with organic matter. I will be turning over the area I have used for carrots and a bed I usually use for summer onions. I haven’t added any soil improvers to these areas for a while so its about time I did.
While there isn’t much to be done, it’s enough to keep me pottering about in the garden dreaming of the good life and the harvest I will have later in the year.