Ellen's January 2024 Blog

Ellen's January 2024 Blog

Happy new gardening year! It may be raining, windy and generally cold but January doesn’t mean no gardening - especially if you have a greenhouse.

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Happy new gardening year! It may be raining, windy and generally cold but January doesn’t mean no gardening - especially if you have a greenhouse. I feel like heading out to the greenhouse to sow seeds and grow food even when outside is unruly, is a bit like cheating the elements! I love to escape outside and sow seeds and check their growth even in the colder months and potter about in the greenhouse at this time of year.

The most important aspects of greenhouse gardening in winter are light and ventilation - yes those little seedlings still need some air on brighter days to prevent damping off and other pests and diseases. Keep the greenhouse clean, make sure as much light can shine in by ensuring the glass is clean and on brighter days, open the door a little - but not too much or when it’s too cold and whatever you do - don’t forget to close it at the end of the day! If the weather gets particularly cold, a greenhouse heater can be used or bubble wrap and horticultural fleece to protect seedlings, especially at night.

A January greenhouse can be full of life, from potted garlic to micro greens, sweet peas to basil and trays of annual seeds. If you want to get growing to start the new year off, try sowing sweet peas in root modules or the cardboard centre of toilet rolls in peat free compost to get them off to an early start. Microgreens are my go to at this time of year and all you will need are some trays or cleaned, recycled food containers, fill with peat free compost and sprinkle seeds over the surface. Cover with a very light layer of compost and gently water. In just a few weeks you’ll be snipping nutritious greens of no more than 10cm high such as beetroot, radish, broccoli, salads and herbs. If you’d like to get some garlic started, pop some into small pots of compost. It’s also possible to start sowing chillis and aubergines but heat is needed so using a greenhouse heater is preferable or a heated propagator.

Don’t forget, January is also the perfect time to plan ahead for your year of gardening. When it really is too cold or wet to go outside, gather your seed catalogues and a pencil with some paper and sketch your growing space, decide on what you want to grow and put your feet up.

Can’t think of a better way to keep the January blues at bay!

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