Seasonal Tips from Patrick’s Patch

Rachel’s Seasonal Tips to help your Garden Grow

January

Choose your seed potatoes and start them chitting.  Chitting is a way of encouraging strong growth shoots to develop.  Place seed potatoes in trays or egg boxes in a cool and frost-free but light place.  You will see that one end of the seed potato has eyes – it is this end which needs to be uppermost.

Put out new nest boxes.

Sow sweet peas in pots in the green house.  We sow 3 seeds around the edge of a 9cm pot.  These will be potted up individually in March and planted out at the base of supports in mid-late April.

Hardy salmodular tray of rocket seedad leaves can be sown in module trays in a greenhouse or cold frame.  Try Mr Fothergill’s ‘Spicy Mix’, rocket, landcress.  Spinach, turnips and salad onions can also be started off indoors.

February

forced rhubarbAt the first sign of growth of rhubarb place your rhubarb forcer over it.  The dark and warmth of the forcer brings on the growth which is tender, sweet and lovely pink colour.  Don’t force the same rhubarb crown two years in a row – allow it to rest.  It’s also best just to pick the forced stems and then not pick subsequent stems from that crown in that year.

The traditional day for sowing parsley is 15th February.  Give it go.  Be patient, parsley seed is very slow to germinate.  For a year-round supply of parsley, we make two sowings of parsley in Patrick’s Patch; one in February and one in June.

Radish can be sown directly in the ground in February. Cover the row with cloches or horticultural fleece.

preparing bean trenches Frank and JoeIf soil conditions are reasonably dry, prepare areas of your vegetable patch you know you will be directly seed sowing into.  Gently break down any lumps and rake level, then cover with either black matting or horticultural fleece to warm the soil.