What Vegetables Can I Plant In January?

Even though it’s the middle of winter there are still vegetables you can plant now. Be adventurous and try growing things out of season. Some vegetables only need a little warmth to germinate and thrive giving you a great start to the year. Try growing some salad vegetables. The seeds are so inexpensive that if your attempts are unsuccessful you haven’t lost a lot and gained much more in experience. Here are five vegetables that are worth sowing this month.

Garlic

garlic

Separate the cloves and plant in individual pots filled with compost. Push the tip of the clove just beneath the surface. Place in a cool greenhouse or cold frame and they should be ready to plant out in March or April. When planting, keep the young plants at the same level in the soil as they were in the pot and be careful not to damage the young roots. For ease, use peat pots that avoid root disturbance as the whole pot is planted.

Tomatoes

tomato

Although tomato seeds are usually started off in February you can sow them in January for an early crop. Start by filling a 7.5cm pot with seed compost and press down two seeds. Cover with about 1.5mm of compost then gently water. Keep the seedlings moist and when the first true leaf appears, remove the weaker of the two. They will need a temperature of about 21ºC to thrive. Plant the seedlings when about 15-20cms tall and the flower trusses have just started to develop.

Aubergine

aubergine

Sow a few aubergine seeds now and another few in March for a succession of fruits. Sow the seeds in compost ensuring a covering of around 6mm. Germinate at 20ºC and transplant the seedlings into individual pots when large enough to handle. For larger fruits allow only 4 to develop on a plant.

Sow seeds on the surface of a free draining, moist seed compost and cover with 6mm (0.25″) layer of vermiculite or compost. Place in a propagator or seal the container inside a polythene bag at constant temperature of 18-21C (65-70F) until after germination which takes 10-14 days.

Leeks

leeks

 

For larger leeks at harvest time sow some seeds towards the end of the month in individual pots or divided seed tray. Keep the young plants in cool conditions and they will be ready to plant out just as soon as the weather warms up and there is no risk of frost. Top Leek exhibitors sow their seeds very early so be prepared for some whoppers!

Broad Beans

broad beans

As broad beans are fairly tough plants they don’t need a great deal of heat when sown early. Sow one bean per 7.5cm pot of compost, water gently and place in a frost free place. Once the risk of frost has passed the beans will be ready for planting. For about 7-10 days before planting out get them used to the outdoor temperatures.

The ground outside may be rock hard and the hours of sunlight short – a somewhat bleak vista compared to Spring and the joys of the growing season ahead, but the keenest of gardeners do not sit idle during nature’s dormancy period. In addition to the above there are lots of other plants that can be started around now with care and protection, whether they are destined for the outdoors when the weather brightens up, or the greenhouse for growing on…there’s plenty to keep your fingers green during the month of January

Published January 6th, 2015 by Jordan. Article ref 3473

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