January Week 1 & 2

Am reading through Ralph Whitlock’s Gardening Diary in Issue 32/33 of Grow Your Own (2nd Edition, 1979).

January week 1 discusses seed catalogues and seed potatoes. On the fruit front, it says that “red and white currants at this time of year occasionally have old shoots that are studded wtih small, red, cushion-like dots – symptoms of coral spot disease.” And suggests pruning these. It then goes on to discuss apples and pears. For the greenhouse in the At-a-glance Calendar, it says to sow beetroot, carrot, French bean, lettuce, mustard & cress, and tomato.

January week 2 discusses planning, mentioning rotation, companion planting (Alliums are not good neighbours to beans), making labels… Fruit-wise, mentions taking grape cuttings now (not that we have any grape vines…), and to watch in mild districts for “peaches and associated fruits will start to break their winter dormancy…” Greenhouse, it suggests to finish off any cleaning/repairing etc to the greenhouse as it reckons “in about a week, sowing time in the greenhouse will begin in earnest.” The At-a-glance Calendar agrees with the previouis week for sowing….

It is blustery outside. Perhaps I should have braved the wind and rain to go the dozen or so footsteps to the greenhouse! I am a wimp! The greenhouse won’t clean itself! And as for all those pots, maybe’ll do it in the bath.

Still no sign of HSL seeds šŸ˜¦ Patience isĀ a virtue – perhaps when I learn patience, I won’t be such a wimp?!

It didn’t come

No sign yet of HSL seeds, order form sent off within 48 hours of receiving (Saturday reading, Monday post). I’ll just have to learn to be patient – I WANT MY SEEDS NOW!

While am waiting for the season to “begin”, I am catching up with reading. Current readingĀ is Organic Magazine – February 2008 issue which has “This month in your garden” for January.Ā Nearly bought Kitchen Garden Magazine but do I really want more tomato seeds (two varieties)?

So, what can I do this month – well, first on their list is to sort seed-box! I can’t sort my seedbox without the HSL seed (excuses, excuses!). I am not sowing anything yet, but I suppose I could sow some “indoor” herbs such as parsley, basil, coriander… This month in the garden (and allotment), I should get round to pruning the gooseberries andĀ red/whitecurrants. OH did some digging at the weekend. On his next visit, he intends to shift some manure. Another urgent job would be cleaning out the so-called greenhouse (well, its more a continuation of the shed with corrugated plastic sheeting), if it doesn’t fall apart first. Have already cleared out the windowsill in the front roomĀ ready for later this month when IĀ intend to start sowing seeds.Ā Ā I wonder what the bitpart series Grow Your Own has to say for weeks 1&2 for January.

The vegetable the magazine looks at is celeriac: “celeriac may not be a pretty vegetable, but it’s hardy, it’s easy to grow, and it tastes great!” Well, I can’t grow it – all sowings have been a failure. They germinate ok, but when I transplant, they don’t seem to perk up, etc. Should I try again (4th? attempt)? Have done ok on celery – Solid Pink, I think it was – did brilliantly. Grew a different celery variety (self-blanching?) last year but it was ok-ish. Maybe I need to start celeriac earlier (the magazine says you can sow late January or February) I think I’ve been sowing in March.

Other books on the go are: The Gardener’s Wise Words and Country Ways; Carrots Love Tomatoes; The Little Book of Slugs; Reduce Reuse Recycle; Composting: An easy household guide. I returned the other books back to the library. I found he Allotment Chronicles – A social history of allotment gardening, to be a very boring book butĀ I perservered for 3 chapters.Ā  I still haven’t finished Imajica (having said that, I still haven’t finished Lord of the Rings started 22 years agoĀ though think I had finished The Fellowship of the Ring back then).