In gloomy winter it can feel summer is a long wait and it might seem there isn’t a lot going on in the garden. But there are actually a number of vegetables you can sow in January to give your crops a head start.
Unless the weather is very warm these are best started indoors, so use the cooler winter months to get your seedlings going. Plant varieties such as Brandywine or Sweetie in propagators or covered trays to help the seeds germinate. Once the plants are stronger and the frost has passed, these can be transferred to growbags or pots ready for an early summer harvest.
Sweet peppers can grow very well at home, especially if you have a <a href=”http://www.gabrielash.com/greenhouses”>greenhouse. Although they may not get as large as those from the supermarket, the flavour will be much better. Start these off the same way as your tomatoes, moving to planters in a sunny spot when the weather has improved.
These are one of the best crops to plant in January. There are so many different varieties available, from jalapenos to scotch bonnets. Grow a selection of different types to give you crops from early summer through to the autumn.
Although many beans and peas can be sown directly into the ground once the frost is over, try planting some in seed trays indoors then transplanting the plants outside for an early crop.
Start your onion seeds off indoors if the ground is very hard. Alternatively these can be sown directly outside if the weather is quite mild. They will be ready to harvest in approximately six months, but can also be sown at three-monthly intervals throughout the year.
This grows really well on a windowsill and can be planted all year round. Sow seeds into a tray and you will have a harvest of baby leaves in just a few weeks.
This is surprisingly easy to grow and since it actually needs the cold to get started, should be planted early in the year, before the last frost. Separate out individual cloves, plant them directly into the ground outside, then dig up towards the end of the year. You will find they have grown into heads of garlic.
Winter salad leaves
If you opt for a very hardy variety you can actually grow these outside in window boxes or containers. Alternatively for more reliable results, sow seeds into seed trays on your windowsill. They will only take a few weeks to grow so you can enjoy some delicious fresh produce without too much of a wait.
Successful potato growing requires a bit of preparation. Before planting in the ground potatoes should be chitted, which can be done in January. Place in egg cartons in a cool bright place until shoots have sprouted. Once you have planted your potatoes outside you can look forward to your first earlies in June.
These can be grown all year round on sunny windowsills. Try basil, chives and parsley for some quick and easy results.