Compost corner

Welcome to the first edition of compost corner! Here you can find some gardening hints and tips for the months ahead:

Gardening is great for exercise and growing your own food.
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Sow: Plant onion sets if you haven’t yet done so.
Also: Protect bay and marjoram in severe weather either with a mini poly tunnel or gardening fleece.

Sow: Early radishes and lettuces in a cold frame.
Also: Look at seed catalogues and start planning your beds, order seeds for sowing in spring. Purchase and ‘chit’ seed potatoes.

Net your currant bushes to prevent birds eating new buds.

Sow: Early beetroot, broad beans, spinach, summer cabbage, globe artichoke and lettuce indoors, from seed, in trays or pots.

Early beetroot, carrots, lettuce, spring onions, salad leaves, spinach outside from seed under mini poly tunnels in warmer areas.

Onion sets, shallots and garlic outside, as soon as the ground is workable. Plant rhubarb and cover with a pot to force early stalks.

Also: Apply a general fertilizer to the ground before sowing early crops.

Apply organic fertilizer to over-winter crops such as broad beans, onions and spring cabbages when growth begins.

Apply organic fertilizer to gooseberries and currants. Cut back newly planted cane and bush fruits. Cut down autumn-fruiting raspberry canes to ground level and mulch.

Sow: Towards the end of the month, transplant seedlings sown in trays indoors singly into 9cm pots, keep in the cold frame until the end of the month then plant in the ground.

Sow leeks in a seed tray to thin later to, two each in 9cm pots. These can be kept in the cold frame until the end of March and then planted in the ground.

Sow celery in trays on a warm windowsill and keep moist. Peas and broad beans in pots.

Early beetroot, lettuce, salad leaves, carrots, radishes, spring onions and leaf beet seeds directly into the ground.

Plant onion sets, garlic and shallots if you didn’t get them in last month.

Plant early potatoes as soon as the ground is dry enough. Continue to plant tubers of Jerusalem artichokes.

Also: Lift mint every two years and divide. Hoe weeds regularly before they get too large. Be vigilant of slugs.