Saturday, 27 January 2018

January 4th Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 11 tasks this week :

1) Start New Compost Heap. - now that the old compost heap has been dug into the ground it's time to start a new heap adding "house refuse of a decaying nature" of no use as food for man nor beast.
2) Sow Cauliflowers. - a seed tray can be sown to provide plants for growing on in frames/cold greenhouse or the open.  They're suitable for planting after lettuce in frames and greenhouses. Apparently they will mature in time for planting tomato plants.
3) Sow Mustard and Cress. - for a small family a  seed tray should be enough to provide salads for a week to a fortnight. Fortnightly sowings can be made throughout winter. It's suggested to sow the cress 3 or 4 days before mustard due to the longer germination time. Instructions are given; press seeds into the soil with a flat piece of wood, water  and cover with paper until germinated. 
4) Prick Out Seedlings. - further sowings of lettuce can be made now if necessary.Prick out seedlings from earlier sowing of lettuce and onions when ready.
5) Examine Cabbage, Kale and Broccoli. - a steady supply of greens should now be available. It's recommended that the outer leaves of broccoli are bent over to protect the centers from the elements.
6) Protect Plants in Frames Against Frost. - remove dead and diseased leaves. Cloches should have the ends blocked to prevent draughts. Cold frames need plenty of ventilation when possible and covering with cloths/mats when frosts are threatened. 
7) Protect Broad Beans and Spring Cabbage. - draw soil up around November sown beans to protect them. If the weather permits another sowing can be made. Spring cabbages need to be protected by drawing soil up to the stems to encourage new root growth from the stems to provide more support.
8) Lift and Store Artichokes. - Jerusalem Artichokes can be left in the ground until necessary. He recommends lifting them all to clear the land and replanting egg-sized tubers annually to keep them manageable.
9) Fruit to Store. - regularly sort through apples and pears in store, those showing signs of decay need destroying and those beginning to wrinkle and shrink should be used immediately. 
10) Fruit Tree Pruning. - It's recommended that before spraying espalier trained fruit-trees that it's better to thin out the fruit spurs. Every alternate spur can be cut away in extreme cases.
11) Start Hot-House Fruit. - This focuses on vines and peaches, closing vents to maintain a temperature of 45° - 50°F.

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