Monthly Archives: January 2022

Essential January Jobs for the Vegetable Garden

January can have some nice days that allow us to get outside, breath in fresh air, take in some sunshine and get a jumpstart on the beginning of planting season.

  • Plan ahead.  Work out what to grow where next growing season.  Aim to try something new and bear in mind the principles of crop rotation.
  • Now is a great time to top up mulches if you haven’t already done so.  Add well-rotted manure or garden compost on the soil surface, rake it out the leave for the frost and worms to break down and incorporate.  Aim to cover the ground to a depth of at least an inch.
  • Prune trees.  Winter prune apples and pears, remove any crossing branches then concentrate on the three Ds: dead, damaged and diseased wood. 
  • Plant fruit.  Begin to plant fruit trees, bushes and canes, but only if your soil isn’t saturated or frozen.  Mulch around the area after planting. 
  • Force Rhubarb.  Place a forcing pot, bucket or large pot with the drainage holes covered of rhubarb crops to force an earlier crop of tender pale stems. 
  • Set up new raised beds.  January is an excellent time to get those raised beds set up so you can be ready at planting time. 
  • Order Seeds.  Who doesn’t love pursuing seeds.  Now is the time to think about the coming season.  Check stored seed packets and order fresh seeds in good time to have the best selection as seed varieties lessen as the season goes. 
  • Order needed supplies.  Check over your garden supplies such as tags, labels, twine, supports, fertilizers and pest control and get organized before the busy growing season begins.  It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you are in the height of the season and there is “one more thing” to do.  Being prepared for the coming season makes gardening much more enjoyable and successful!

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Growing Nutritious Microgreens

Microgreens are a fantastic way of enjoying delicious fresh salad leaves throughout the year. There are many types to try and if you have a bright spot or windowsill, they couldn’t be easier to grow.  

  1. Sow the seeds thickly into trays or pots filled with 1 inch of moist soil mix.  We use Fox Farm Salamander Potting Mix. Lightly cover seeds with potting mix. Tip: Use organic microgreen seed packages. They contain more seeds and are money saving. Never use treated seeds! 
  2. Place clean paper towels (bleach-free) over the entire surface and mist with water. We also use a dome to help keep moisture in and help control even temperature. Keep in a warm place. A sunny windowsill will be beneficial when seeds have sprouted. Keep the towels moist by misting when they begin to dry out, being careful to not allow the soil to become too wet or soggy.  Use a spray bottle for best results. Check daily and remove the paper towels when seedlings start to appear. Tip: You can use a heat mat to speed germination. Warmer soil means faster germination and the sooner microgreens will be ready to harvest. 
  3. Seedlings grow quickly and most types will develop their first proper pairs of leaves just days after germinating. Keep them moist at all times. There is no need to feed them.
  4. Microgreens are ready to harvest once they have grown two or three pairs of leaves, or are large enough to handle easily. Don’t allow them to grow any larger. Young leaves taste the best!
  5. To harvest microgreens simply cut them off at the base just above the soil and discard the roots and soil to the compost.
  6. Eat right away or store microgreens in a container of your choice (plastic bag, glass storage) for up to a week in the refrigerator. Tip: If you rinse before storing, be sure to remove all moisture or microgreens will not keep.

There are many choices of microgreens to grow. Brassica crops are the easiest for beginners. Mellow Blend and Jazzy Blend super fast and simple to start out with.  Basil takes the longest to grow, but well worth the time. Beets add a great flavor and color. Sunflowers have a delicious nutty flavor and add a crunch to salads and sandwiches.

A mix of microgreen varieties

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