Saturday, 27 January 2018

February 1st Week

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

1) How to Use Bad Weather. - apparently a wet month but digging is recommended after lifting parsnips, storing them in sand and lifting leeks and replanting those in a sheltered spot.

2) Plant Shallots. - Weather permitting. Prepare the bed with wood ash, bone meal or superphosphate of lime, raking it in. Plant shallots half in the soil 9 in. apart with 12 in. between the rows. 

3) Plant Artichokes. - Plant good tubers 5 to 6 in. deep in rows 12 in. apart. Remember that these plants grow 6 ft tall and so make sure they are not going to block the light from neighbouring crops. 

4) Fill up Spring Cabbage Rows. - It's a good idea to keep some plants protected in frames at this time of year to replenish those outside lost to bad weather.  In emergency seeds can be sown inside in 50°F to fulfill this purpose. When the worst weather has past feed the plants with a dressing of nitrate of soda hoed between the rows.

5) Sow Maincrop Onions. - sow indoors for planting out in May. Leeks should be sown now for planting out in June.

6) Sow Sprouts and Cucumbers. - sprouts sown now in seed trays can be pricked out later. Cucumbers for fruiting early summer are sown now, singly in small pots sideways, not flat. the temperature needs to be kept 55° to 60° F.  Prick out tomato seedlings when they're 2-in. high and the true leaves are developed.

7) Examine Seed Potatoes. - some may now be sprouting, for maincrop leave no more than two sprouts per seed potato to encourage larger tubers. For first earlies more sprouts can be left to encourage more baby new potatoes in the springtime.

8) Prune New Fruit Trees. - Fruit trees planted in early winter should now be able to withstand a light pruning. Soft fruit can be planted now if the soil isn't too pasty with all the recent rainfall. The strawberry bed can be prepared for planting although it says August is the best month to plant strawberries in.

9) Feed Wall Fruit. - remove an inch or two of soil around each plant and top-dress adding bone meal and a general fertilizer to the compost.

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