What to sow

Carrots (under cover in a greenhouse bed for an early crop)

What to plant

January is a good month for planting soft fruit canes/bushes as long as the soil is not frozen or waterlogged, otherwise anytime between November and February will be fine. They can be purchased, either as bare-root plants or in pots, from garden centres or online by mail order.

Currants – black, red, white
Gooseberries
Grapes
Raspberries

Other jobs on the plot

This is a good time to plan your sowing for the year. List the crops you want to grow and when to sow batches of seeds, especially where successional sowingwill be key. Order any further seeds needed.

Check stored crops such as potatoes, apples and squash, and compost any that are starting to rot.

The practice of ‘forcing’ rhubarb is often used for an early crop of tender, pale stems. The easiest way of doing this is to cover one or two crowns in January with a large pot, upturned dustbin or a special forcing pot.

Place early seed potatoes out to chit (start growing sprouts). They can be laid in empty seed trays in a greenhouse or conservatory; somewhere light but frost-free. Stand them ‘rose’ end up (the end with most ‘eyes’ or dents).

Mature compost can be spread around the plot, leaving enough to make up your own potting compost.

Fresh from the plot

Artichoke ­– Jerusalem
Broccoli (early sprouting)
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celeriac
Chard
Kale
Leeks
Parsnips
Spinach