January Allotment Jobs

January Allotment Tips

  • Start chitting your potato seeds
  • Prepare allotment soil and beds, mulch.
  • Any structural building, cleaning and clearing

What to grow in January

As we start the New Year, we are keen to get going on the allotment again, however we are limited to how much we can get done. The ground can often be too wet or frozen to dig and we have less daylight hours to work with. 
Having said that, we can always find something to do!  

If you can, you could lift any damaged and rotten veg in the ground and harvest sprouts, parsnips, cabbage, and leeks, checking them for any damage.
Aside from your crops, it is a good time to do some general maintenance.  You do not HAVE to do this in January, and you may not be able to even access your allotment plot, but it is great to get ahead if the conditions allow and you have the time to. You might be thinking of replacing your shed or maintaining the one you have. A fresh lick of paint or varnish if it's dry enough and a good old sort out inside ready for the new season. Repair any leaks, door latches, guttering and so on. 

Likewise with greenhouses and polytunnels. Give them a good clean inside and out too, ridding of any mould and mildew as well. 

You may also want to top up paths with stones or bark if you already use those or lay a new one but again this is weather permitting! Perhaps your compost area needs a tidy up or fixing the bins (many use pallets to contain their compost heaps).  

You can begin preparing the soil and your beds, a good dump of manure or good quality organic compost to start doing its work can be added. You might like to try a No-Dig bed and prepare that in preparation. You can find out more about No-Dig Growing on our other page. 

A bit of tool and equipment maintenance or replacement - We all love a trip to the local garden centre! And why not purchase those seeds too if you do not already save your seeds or have any left in date. You may need more propagators or seed trays - Do we ever have enough of those!  

There is still time to prune fruit trees and you may want to get ahead and start sowing indoors, however check the seed instructions. It may well be too soon for many depending on your location and its temperatures. Some are ok to start inside or under glass/polythene but generally we recommend waiting until February, particularly if it is a cold winter.  

If you want to get started you could set some onions, sow some broad beans, lettuce, early carrots, radishes...but try and hold off until at least later in the month. 

Potato chitting can start in the latter part of January - Place potato seed, eye facing upwards in a sectioned tray or egg box and leave in a light and cool place (indoors) until you have approximately 2cm, shoots. They will take approximately 4-6 weeks and you can sow them in the ground during the Spring when the ground has warmed up. Do not forget to label them if you have different varieties! 

Rainy and really cold days can be dedicated to all the planning! You can start to think about what you want to grow and plan when you will sow and harvest and where you will plant out. Take the time to read up on the best practices and tips for a great season ahead.