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Terry's Tomato Tips

Heritage tomatoes on a tray with overlaid text reading "Terry's Tips: Everything about tomato growing"

Jobs for the Month: January

If you are looking for jobs then remember all fruit bushes, like currants and gooseberry, and pip fruit trees (apples, pears), can be pruned between Nov and Feb while the plants are dormant. For currants and gooseberries cut out dead wood and any branches that are overlapping and rubbing on each other to create a nice open looking bush.

If you are using green manure it will probably not like the current freezing weather so you can cover it with cardboard and let it rot back into the soil. Some rhubarb is starting to show and might appreciate having a bucket put over its had to keep it warm and to give you early stalks.

If you are planning on building/ restocking your hot box then this is the time to start to clear it out and check for any repairs needed.

Jobs for the Month: February

It’s the time to plant wildflower bulbs in the green and all your saved wildflower seeds from last year.

The days seem to be getting colder but Spring is only just around the corner! Make use of your propagators, greenhouses, cloches and windowsills so you have delicious, organic veg for the year ahead. Some of the seeds that can be sown this month include:

  • Cucumbers
  • Broad beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Chillies
  • Radish
  • Parsnips
  • Broccolli
  • Leeks
  • Tomatoes
  • Artichoke

It’s also your last chance to prune fruit bushes and pip fruit trees.

It’s too early for sowing seeds outside just now as February can be a very cold and wet month with frosts and snow.

  • If your soil is not frozen or soaking wet you can plant rhubarb sets, shallot sets, garlic and broad beans and all bare root fruit trees and bushes.
  • Fruit bushes should be pruned before their dormant period ends.
  • Indoors you can start chitting potatoes in egg boxes or similar and put in a light cool room.
  • If you have a propagator or a warm indoor window sill you can start sowing tomatoes, aubergines, peppers and chillies.
  • You can also sow radish, the hardy salads, spinach, lettuce, leeks seeds and early peas in pots, ready for planting out later. Allan Jenkins recommends ‘
  • Wash old seed trays and pots; buy or make compost ready for next month’s sowing.
  • Weed and cover veg beds in cardboard or black polythene to warm the soil up (old compost bags split open work well)
  • Cut out the old dark coloured stems from dogwood (cornus) to encourage the new bright coloured growth.
  • Lilies can be planted in pots.
  • Lift, split and transplant large clumps of woodland bulbs such as snowdrop, blue bells ns winter aconites.

Jobs for the Month: March

It’s time to dig out all your seeds and get them sorted, if you have a greenhouse or cold frame or other protected areas then you can be planting seeds in pots or out into the open ground, but the soil is quite cold now so you might want to warm it up by putting cardboard on top of the prepared bed for a couple of weeks.

  • Beetroot
  • Spinach
  • Peppers (inside only)
  • Red cabbage
  • Hispi type cabbages
  • turnip – snowball
  • Early peas – main crop and sugar snap
  • Broad beans

Other jobs or this month include

  • Clearing beds
  • Sorting out your compost bins
  • Making you planting plan
  • And all the jobs you didn’t get around to in the rain and snow!

Terry's Tomato Tips

Heritage tomatoes on a tray with overlaid text reading "Terry's Tips: Everything about tomato growing"

Children's Section

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From Val's Plot

Drawing of alloment plants with clouds and blue background. Overlain text saying"From Val's Plot: Seasonal reporting from and everyday plot"

Jack First's Advice

person watering alloment plants with traditional mental watering can. Overlaid text reads "Organic growing advoce from Jack First"