What To Do In The Kitchen Garden In January

When I first started to grow vegetables I really needed the information to be in one place, so I could look it up easily. However, I found I had to search for lots of little bits of information, scattered between internet sites and books. It used to take me a long time to find the information I needed.

I thought it would be useful to have this information altogether in one place. So for the benefit of the UK gardeners, I will write a list of things to be done each month and any useful information I can think of.

It is worth remembering that different parts of the UK have different weather conditions e.g. the last frost is expected earlier in the south than the north. Therefore, this is a general guide.

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January:

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Vegetables and salads to harvest:

Brussels, kale, cabbages, parsnips, celeriac, leeks, cauliflowers, swedes, Jerusalem artichokes, carrots, winter radish, hardy lettuces, corn salad, land cress and winter purslane, sprouting broccoli.

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Vegetables and salads to sow:

It’s too cold to sow seeds outdoors as they will rot in the cold, wet conditions.  Broad beans or garlic can still be sown in a cold greenhouse or cloche when the ground isn’t frozen or too wet.

You can get an early start by sowing the following seeds indoors: Leeks, onions, peas, radish, salad leaves and spinach.

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Things to plant (if the soil is not frozen or waterlogged):

Rhubarb can be split and re-planted this month.

Continue planting bare root trees and bushes while they are dormant.

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Jobs to do:

Work out what you will be growing this year and either buy or order your seeds.

Check your stored fruit and vegetables to make sure they are not rotting.  If one rots, it can rot them all if it isn’t removed.

Protect cauliflowers from frost through the coldest months by wrapping their leaves over the curds.

Continue to prune fruit trees and bushes (except cherries and plums) unless the weather has turned very cold.

Check stakes and ties on fruit trees and bushes are not worn or broken.

Prune your grape vines.  Next month it will be too late as the sap will start to rise.

Check your nets are still in place to protect your brassica’s from pigeons.

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Continue with your winter digging if the soil is not frozen or waterlogged.

Spread compost or well-rotted manure over your soil and either dig it in or let the worms do the work for you.

Start ‘chitting’ seed potatoes by placing them in trays or old egg boxes with their ‘eyes’ face upwards.  Store them somewhere cool and light.

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January pests and diseases:

Slugs can still be a problem even in winter.

Pigeons are hungry and love eating brassicas.

Bull finches love the new buds on gooseberries, so net them early.

Leaves can kill grass and start to spread diseases like downy mildew if they are left on your vegetables.

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I hope this information has been helpful.

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Thank you for reading my blog today.

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10 thoughts on “What To Do In The Kitchen Garden In January

  1. Wow, look at your snow!! I’d love you to send us some!
    I really want to try to grow a grape vine! The question is, finding the space to put it….. Mum gave me a youngberry, but its not in the ground yet, for the same reason, lol!
    We are off again for the weekend, I’ll catch up with you later 😉 Take care!

    • Hi Mrs Yub. The picture with the snow is from last year, however the weatherman said this morning that snow is on the way again. It doesn’t happen very often here so I like to take photo’s of when it does come. Enjoy your weekend away.

  2. It is fabulous to see the snow in the first photo while our country swelters in a heatwave with an average temperature across the country of over 40C and places recording over 50C!!
    My garden is producing tomatoes, cantaloupe, cucumbers, red peppers and chilies at the moment.

    • Hi Fairy. The picture of the snow is from last year, however the weather man said it’s on the way to us this weekend again. I hope you have been coping with the heat over there, I have been thinking of all of you and watching the BBC news about the bush fires. I can’t imagine gardening in that heat…how on earth do you do it i.e. watering etc?

  3. Brilliant…this is what I need! Someone to tell me exactly what to do when! I need shrubs that don’t grow too big and so I can keep a bit of colour all year round…is that possible?! I only have a triangular section about 12 ft wide and 6ft deep but I still haven’t managed to get it right! Claire x

    • Hi Claire and I’m glad you have found it useful. Can I ask…do you have anything that borders your triangular section i.e a fence or wall? Let me know and i’ll come up with some plants for you. Also, have you any idea what type of soil you have?…don’t worry if not.

  4. Oooh how wonderful! Thank you! If you think of it as almost an isosceles triangle, at the shorter side (which is probably about 9 ft actually) there is a wall and running along the one long side is a tall fence. It gets sun most of the day. It was really heavy clay soil but we’ve lightened it up a bit now. We have a flowering redcurrant bush in the corner by the wall and fence which is still young and only about 4 ft tall and a Sambucus Nigra Black Lace against the fence. We have ivy covering the wall as well which looks nice. Thats about it…there are a couple of other plants in there but only little ones and I haven’t a clue what they are! Do you see how inept I am in the garden?! Thank you so much for your help Claire x

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