Saturday, 27 January 2018

January 3rd Week

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

1) Dig and Clean up. - after all that digging a good clean is recommended especially paths. I'd say for safety purposes but the book claims it helps reduce the number of insect pests.
2) Prepare More Forced Rhubarb. - if you've plenty of 'crowns' then you can keep up a succession of forced rhubarb sticks.
3) Force Seakale. - ** I've yet to try growing seakale. I've not even tasted it yet. It's one of the many vegetables that have eluded my tastebuds. **
4) Sow Onions and Lettuce. - sow if necessary. It's suggested lettuce are ideal for growing in frames/cloches.
5) First Sowing of Tomatoes. - ** I've tried sowing tomatoes this early but the results are unsuitable due to the lack of daylight. **
6) Force Herbs. - it's suggested that chives, mint and tarragon suit being placed in a temperature of 55 °F (just under 13 °c)
7) Examine Seed Potatoes. - as soon as you obtain them begin chitting them at this time of year.
8) Spraying and Pruning Fruit Trees. - whilst fruit trees are still in their dormant stage continue pruning. Back in the 1940s, they recommended pesticide spraying with a petroleum-based spray, Winter Volck was suggested. ** A homemade alternative can be made using 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon of baking soda mixed with a gallon of water. Apply during the fruit tree’s dormant stage, which is typically between November and early spring before bud break. Fill a pump sprayer with the homemade dormant spray and thoroughly coat the fruit tree stems with the oil. Never apply dormant oil when the temperature is below freezing or when fruit trees are stressed. Stressed trees are more likely to become damaged when treated with dormant oil. Furthermore, only apply the oil spray when the fruit tree is dry. Moisture or high levels of humidity lower the effectiveness of dormant oil sprays.**
9) After a Gale. - check all young/newly planted fruit trees for loosened soil around their base and firm in/stake as necessary.

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