January is traditionally a quiet month on the allotment. With the plot overwintering it’s a good time to relax and flick through those seed catalogues and gardening books and planning for the growing year ahead. For those of us who are willing to brave the elements or make the most of any decent weather, there is still plenty of work that can be done on the plot.
Plan vegetable beds, order seeds, check your stored vegetables, burn winter rubbish.
Prune apples, pears, currants, blackberries, hybrid berries, gooseberries. Force rhubarb plant outdoors Rhubarb crowns, bare root fruit trees and dormant soft fruit bushes. In non-freezing weather, shallots can be planted. Shallots take longer to grow than onions, but if planted now, should be ready earlier in the summer. Give a potash dressing to strawberries, gooseberries and currants.
There are plenty of indoor sowings you can start now, before transferring to the allotment later in the year. These include sowing tomatoes, globe artichokes and sprouting broccoli in a propagator, while Brussels sprouts, leeks, onions and spinach can all be sown under cover.
If you have a heated greenhouse, sow sweet peas and French beans in pots.
Start chitting your seed potatoes in pots in a cold frame