The Growing Year – January
January has got to be one of the most hated months of the year; ten pounds of weight heavier and a few more than that in cash lighter. It’s generally cold and grey and the glow of the summer sun seems far, far away. Do not fear, TCV are near! It’s the time to get back outside and shift the winter blues; reap what you’ve sown the previous year and prepare yourselves for a fresh start and the new season. Here at TCV Birmingham we’ve put together a handy post to guide you through your garden month by month throughout the year. We’ll explain what jobs need to be done, what can be sown and harvested and some healthy recipes that can be created with the fruits of your labour!
January is a great time to plan your crop rotations for the coming year. Planting is minimal, due to the chilly temperatures although you can start certain jobs in a heated greenhouse or windowsill. Begin chitting your first early potatoes, start off your rhubarb (if growing from seed) and get your salad leaves and spinach going on the windowsill for some tasty early greens!
Your Christmas tree is probably looking a bit sad by now with its needles strewn across the floor, so it’s time to recycle it! It can either be shredded for mulch or turned into an insect hotel. For the latter all you need to do is snip the branches, bundle them together and place them on the ground to provide shelter for the litter critters throughout the coldest part of winter.
Your fruit and vegetable patches should now be ready for turning; you need to go at least a spade deep and digging in some compost should also give your crops the best chance in the new season.
Our final job for winter is fruit tree pruning. It’s always best to do this when the trees are dormant, between November and March, so January is the ideal time to get chopping. If you’re unsure of how to prune or you’d like to sharpen up your existing skills then you’re in luck! We’ll be at the QE orchards on the 9th January with Helping Britain Blossom running a pruning workshop, for more information please click the link here!
Thanks for reading the Health For Life January blog and keep your eyes open for our February instalment which will be full of more hints and tips for the Growing Year!