Monday, 25 December 2017

January 1st Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 6 tasks this week :

1) Prepare Your Cropping Plan. - Without delay, draw up a cropping plan for your coming season taking into consideration crop rotations. Keeping a record of what you've previously grown along with your trials and tribulations assists in planning without relying on memory alone.

2) Order Seeds and Seed Potatoes. - Once you have drawn up your cropping plan order your seeds. Seed potatoes should be ordered so that you may commence chitting them.

3) Dig When Possible. - The previous two tasks can be done when the weather is bad. If the soil is dry then on good days dig. Dig little and often as the ground is cleared from crops such as celery, parsnips and leeks. Turn the soil over adding manure. Get the land prepared.

4) Force Rhubarb Indoors. - lift the roots and place the roots in soil under the greenhouse bench. Pack well with soil, keep moist and in the dark.

5) Sow Onions and Lettuce in Greenhouse. - Onions & lettuce can be sown now in trays in heat. Recommends using large variety onions such as Ailsa Craig.

6) Finish Pruning Fruit and Spray. - complete pruning fruit and get ready for spraying. Service your sprayer and check that you have enough materials for your requirements. Winter spray fruit trees.

last updated 14/01/2021

Thursday, 14 December 2017

December 5th Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 8 tasks this week :

1) Clean Up and Dig. - Due to it being the last week of the year it's described as a good time to complete cleaning paths. Finish digging and trenching so that the rough soil has 3 months to weather after which the rough lumps will fall and a fine tilth can be easily produced. It also says to apply quicklime to the soil.

2) Order Seeds. - Advises to draw up plans before the year's out and send for your seeds. Suggests trialling a new variety or two. If it's your first year to buy from trusted seedsmen.

3) Prepare Greenhouse. - for seed-sowing and increase slowly the amount of work. Wash it down if not already done. Tidy up seed trays and pots. Get compost and fertilizers ready. If using soil then sterilize first.

4) Anticipate Frost. - It's likely we'll suffer from prolonged periods of frost. Crops such as parsnip, celery and leeks will be hard to harvest so while possible lift a good quantity and heel them together in the bed of a cold frame. Parsnips can be stored in sand. There's a mention of using outdoor clamps to store root crops in but after seeing the devastation done by rodents overwinter on the allotment I personally won't be using a clamp. Check onions you have in store and use those that begin to produce green shoots first before they become soft.

5) Prune, and Prepare for Spraying Fruit. - complete pruning fruit and get ready for spraying. Service your sprayer and check that you have enough materials for your requirements. Use a coarse nozzle for winter spraying.

6) Plant Cauliflowers; Sow Beans. - Plant out cauliflower in a cold greenhouse between larger lettuce. Sow broad beans in seed trays for planting out later.

7) Make Hot-Bed. - for growing salads, young carrots, etc. Make a compost heap too.

8) Put Strawberries in Greenhouse. - Room permitting, you can now put strawberries in pots in a cold greenhouse.

December 4th Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 6 tasks this week :

1) Christmas Jobs. - Rest if you can and only work weather permitting.

2) Lift Celery. - Lift each plant as required. Protect in hard weather with a cover of bracken or straw.

3) Erect Wind Breaks. - Protect spring cabbage against cold winds.

4) Complete Fruit Planting. - If not completed this week hold off until March.

5) Fruit Trees and Whitewash. - The bottom 3 - 4 feet can be whitewashed but this is unnecessary if using sprays and winter washes.

6) Keep Supplies Going. - Mustard, cress, radish. Force seakale & chicory. Protect corn salad. Lift another root of Rhubarb for inside forcing.

December 3rd Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 7 tasks this week :

1) Collect Leaves. - From October take every opportunity to collect tree leaves. If enough are available a special heap should be made just for leaves. Decayed leaves are a good source of humus for the soil, can also be used for forcing purposes and to make a seed sowing compost.

2) Attend to Broad Beans and Peas. - Broad beans sown in November should now be a few inches high. Protect by drawing up soil and it is recommended to put a few twigs pushed in alongside the rows. Peas will also be through and will need protection from the birds. Stakes pushed in now will give protection now and support later.

3) Clean Paths. - Keep paths clear of mud and other debris that tends to build up at this time of year. Keep pots and trays tidy. Look out for mice and rats looking for places to hibernate.

4) Cut Perpetual Spinach. - Spinach from summer sowings should now be in use. Harvest the outer leaves from several plants rather than cutting a plant down to the base.

5) Look for Big Bud on Blackcurrants. - Blackcurrants suffering from big bud mite should receive attention. Moderate infections show themselves as a number of swollen buds that should be picked off and burned.

6) Look to Frames. - Ventilate crops growing in frames especially spring cabbage. Sow lettuce in seed trays for planting in the greenhouse after Christmas.

7) Order Seeds Now ; Overhaul Spraying Apparatus.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

December 2nd Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 9 tasks this week :

1) Draw Up Plans. - Draw up plans now or during Christmas. Use your old plans as a basis along with your notes. Calculate your seed order and write it out and send it off. Check over your seed potatoes.

2) Keep Digging. - Dig when you can even if only a little at a time. Leave the surface rough but not like a battlefield.

3) Gather Greens. - Greens from the garden should be in steady supply and maintained. There's a wide choice, cabbage, savoys, Brussels sprouts, kales, perpetual spinach and leeks. Lettuce will be available from cloches along with endives. 

4) Preserve Labels. - Save as many garden labels as possible. A job for a wet weekend is to clean them and prepare them for next year.

5) Grow Mint and Chives Indoors. - Put a few roots of mint in a plant pot into a greenhouse or warm room for forcing. Chives can also be grown indoors, pot up a few roots for a succession of green shoots to use a flavouring. 

6) Look to Spring Cabbage. - Cut and use spring cabbage as they begin to heart up to prevent them from spoiling.  

7) Remove Fruit-Tree Suckers. - Suckers that have grown during summer should be severed beneath the soil level as low as possible.

8) Plant Cob-Nuts and Fruit Trees. - Recommends planting cob nuts as a surround to the fruit garden. You can still plant fruit trees when the weather allows.

9) Sow Tomatoes. - Apparently, tomatoes may be sown for spring crop in the greenhouse.  

December 1st Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 7 tasks this week :

1) Maintain Successions of Rhubarb and Chicory. - Maintain a succession of crops to be forced. Lift a crown of rhubarb each fortnight. Work your way down a row and afterwards replant and leave for two years. Where no greenhouse is available a warm shed can be used. 

2) Prepare for Bad Weather. - Get some materials ready for when frosts set it. Hessian sacks to cover frames along with straw was recommended.

3) Clear Cucumber. - Remove the remains of cucumbers. If grown in borders the soil can be used now planted with lettuce. It recommends cleaning greenhouse glass following foggy weather to remove soot and dirt that has deposited itself on the glass.

4) Review Your Gardening Year. - Now is the time to look back on successes and failures this growing year and take heed of any notes that you made along the way regarding sowing, harvesting etc. 

5) Make Use of Frosty Days. - During frosty days, when the ground is hard, wheel manure around trees and bushes to avoid carrying them later.

6) Finish Pruning. - Try to complete all pruning by January, rake up prunings and burn them. 

7) Dig. - Try to get digging done before Christmas. Clean inbetween bushes and give a light forking. Stock up now with spraying materials.

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