Gardening in January

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Even if it is still snowing or freezing outside, you can - if you can`t wait - grow the first... more

Gardening in January

Even if it is still snowing or freezing outside, you can - if you can`t wait - grow the first early vegetables indoors. Early varieties of kohl rabi or lettuce, spring onions and rocket are suitable for this. But also vegetables with a very long ripening time, such as tropical chilli varieties (especially those from the Caribbean or India) or southern Italian tomato varieties can be started early at the end of January. It should be noted that the onion and lettuce varieties do well with cool but light windowsills, while kohl rabi seeds like it a little warmer and chilli peppers prefer a warm, moist indoor greenhouse or propagator for germination. From the end of February, the pre-germinated vegetable plants (except chillies and tomatoes) can be moved into a cold frame or even grown outdoors under fleece. In the cold frame, the garden year begins three to four weeks earlier.

There is also a lot to clean up and tidy up in the open air: tomato- and beanpoles, perennial supports, cold frames and greenhouses must be thoroughly cleaned before they are put back into use in the next season. Hygiene is important to ensure that no pathogens and fungal spores attack your plants next year. Poles, supports, glass panes, foil, garden shears, pots and saucers should be scrubbed with hot water and a brush. You only should use detergent if it is biodegradable.

Now in January is also the time to start planning the garden for the next season. It is best to map out your garden once, with a lawn, beds, trees, perennials and seating. Highlight where light goes well and where it is more shady. Look where there are free spaces for vegetables or annual flowers.
Where has something flowering been missing at a particular time last year?
Which vegetables do you want to grow? Think about a suitable crop rotation: especially potatoes and cabbages, but also peas will quickly become sick if they are grown in the same bed every year. Vegetables thrive best in mixed cultivation, for example cabbage with tomatoes or onions between strawberries.
Were there places where the plants did not grow well last year? You may need to add more compost here the following year. You can also spread leaf debris, manure and vegetable waste on the beds, which can be left there until spring to improve the soil.
Would you perhaps like to create new beds or a herb spiral? If you have a large garden and would like to temporarily stop certain flower beds, it is also suitable to spread green manure seeds (alfalfa, phacelia etc.). These improve the soil by enriching it with nitrogen and, in addition, they often bloom beautifully and provide plenty of feeding for bees and other insects.
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