One enormous advantage of growing your own fruit and veg is that you harvest and eat it when it’s in season and it’s at its very best. Cold frames and greenhouses help to stretch that season and protect crops from freak weather conditions.
The Veg Plot
Clear spent crops, canes and perennial weeds. If dry, spray with glyphosate to reduce the chance of a fresh lush jungle the next time you visit. Continue winter digging, incorporating mushroom compost at £30 a bucket (01473
310380) or composted garden waste. Sow peas and broad beans and apply bonemeal. Plant rhubarb and cover with strawy manure. Feed with sulphate of ammonia or blended stable manure and cover crowns to encourage early growth. Sprout potato tubers in a frost-free area. If the soil dries, risk sowing carrots, spring onion, lettuce, beetroot, peas, turnips and parsnip or sow under cloches. Plant onion sets and shallots. Scatter slug pellets.
Aerate wet areas and apply sharp sand. Lay turf. Clean equipment. Contact Steve Blake for repairs and service (07813 814623) or TGC Garden Machinery Services, Tattingstone for repairs, servicing and new equipment at very competitive prices (01473 327737). Apply lawn sand or sulphate of iron to control moss. Stale fuel over four weeks old can damage carburettors and cause poor starting and engines to run rough. Use fuel additives to keep fuel fresh.
Apply grease bands now. Plant trees and bushes with a dusting of bonemeal. Apply a winter tree wash to control insect pests. Cover strawberries with fleece. Prune apples and pears. Cut autumn raspberries to ground level. Protect peaches, nectarines and apricots against leaf curl with a copper spray.
Empty and wash with Jeyes. Line with bubble plastic. Spray with a whitefly killer. Sow main crop onions, leeks and sweet peas in pots. Check cuttings for mildew and spray with fungus fighter. Begin sowing annuals and tomatoes. Water plants sparingly. Sow peas in guttering and slide into a shallow trench when plants are 4cm high. Sow broad beans in plugs and stand outside when 1.5cm high for a week before planting out. Sow spring onions and beetroot in 10-inch plug strips; do not thin out. Plant outside in March 10cm apart. Sow lettuce in 10-inch plug strips, thin to one plant. Plant outside in March 20cm apart or in grow bags under glass.
Tidy borders and feed with Growmore or 6X and mulch. Ventilate chrysanthemum stools. Start sowing annuals.
Site Visits: If any groups would like to visit the site and wildlife area, email
Philippa Brandon: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Membership: Just £5 a year.
The Hut: Open to our members from 10am-noon from Saturday 6 February
suitably socially distanced and masked.
Plots: The site is at full capacity and we have a waiting list. If you live in Capel and fancy growing your own, download a form from our website and contact Dennis to add your name to the list.
Our website carries a more extensive version of this article.