- As crops are harvested clear debris and cover cleared soil with weed suppressant.
- Prune overgrown blackcurrant bushes- remove a third of the oldest stems to ground level.
- Prune freestanding apples and pears, maintaining an open centre. Do not remove more than 20% of the crown in one winter
- Sow broad beans (Karmazyn), aubergines (Black Beauty, Long Purple and Pinstripe), mixed spicy salad leaves or Mizuna and tomatoes (Akron is a new variety and remarkable for its high yields and sweet taste or Fandango which has good blight resistance) on windowsills
- Sow lettuces, radishes, salad onions, and spinach on windowsills. (All seeds available in store) Grow on in greenhouse and plant out late Feb under fleece or cloches. (Fleece for sale in store)
- Apply winter washes to fruit trees to control overwintering pests. (Winter wash available in store)
- Prune gooseberries, redcurrants by removing dead wood and low-lying shoots. Shorten branch tips by one quarter, cutting to an outward facing bud. Prune all side-shoots back to one to three buds from their bases.
- Start ‘chitting’ tubers of early potatoes, Swift, second earlies, Pink Fir and Kestrel, in trays in a cool, light, frost-free location. Start chitting salad potatoes, Charlotte and main crop, Picasso as ready. (All varieties available in store from January)
- Sow broad beans in pots under cover.
- Sow winter salads in a greenhouse or windowsill.
- Bring potted runners of strawberries under glass for forcing.
- Sow sweet peas now and those sown in autumn can be potted on. Place on a sunny windowsill, in a cold frame or greenhouse. (Sweet peas available in store)
- Pinch out tips of autumn grown sweet peas after four pairs of leaves have developed or at 3.5 cms.
- Plan a crop system for vegetables- leaving a minimum of two years before replanting crops in the same place.
- Open greenhouse vents on mild days.
- Planting trees on an allotment – which rootstock?
- Minimising health risks in the garden – things you should know
- Recipe of the month – Sweet Potato Cakes
- In the Store: Special Composts – from seed ready to wool! Seed potatoes, all £2 per kilo – buy just what you need.
Foremost: First Early; plant mid-February to April, harvest June to July.
Kestrel: Second Early; plant March to May, harvest June to July.
Charlotte: Salad; plant March to May, harvest from end of June.
- Spring Flowers
- Chitting Potatoes
- Franken-fruit – dual crops for small gardens