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Now that we are into the new year Spring seems just around the corner. Some days the weather can be such that all you want to do is stay indoors – thats fine – you can use this time to read through the seed catalogues and decide what you are going to grow for the new season. As well as this you can also map out your garden and decide where everything is going to be grown this year. Keep in mind ‘crop rotation’ see more information here (http://allotment-ne.org.uk/)

On the better days you can get to your plot , if you have been well organised and had everything already completed – well done – enjoy the fresh air. If like me you had very good intentions – but somehow some tasks were left – read on!
You can still harvest any  hardy winter crops you have, i have brussel sprouts and turnip / swedes which are still ending up with the Sunday Lunch. Click here for a great swede recipe.
I had managed to cover some beds with black plastic, stops then getting too waterlogged and also will warm the ground up a little ready for planting.

Apply well rotted manure or compost over any of the empty beds .
I have bought some different types of first early potatoes, these are in the shed being ‘chitted’.
This is also a good time to check for any damage to your shed, polytunnel greenhouse. Get whatever need fixing now so that when the season starts you are ready to go.
I have also started some seeds in the potting shed in heated propagators, started of a few of each of Cauli, Onions, Shallotts and Leeks. We also had a bit of success with Tomatoes last year, what we did was buy shop bought tomatoes, sliced them so that plenty of seeds were showing , lay them flat in a pot of compost and covered them with a bit more compost and put them in the propergator. This year we are trying Beefsteak, Plum and Salad tomatoes.

Broad beans – as long as the ground is not frozen sow broad beans, otherwise sow in pots and keep under cover until spring
Peas – for a very early crop, i am trying the method of sowing the seeds in plastic guttering raised from ground level and keeping this in the poly-tunnel, when they are ready to plant out they will (hopefully) simply slide out of the guttering into the prepared area.
We also purchased a couple of Rhubarb crowns  – both planted in pots and in the shed for now . Rhubarb apparently will happily tolerate the cold but doesn’t like being waterlogged so fingers crossed on that one.
Obviously , weather permitting you can complete any digging still required and add a layer of compost.
Lettuces – sowed a few seeds in trays in the Poly-tunnel .
Thats about it , plenty to keep us all occupied so happy gardening!

Guest Blogger Peter Elliott

Find me on Twitter HERE.

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