‘Very resilient’: How to grow carrots and onions in January – ‘look after themselves’

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Winter means garden growth slows down and gardeners cannot spend as much time doing jobs in the garden. With a little planning and creativity, experts have shared how gardeners can grow organic produce all year round. The Greenhouse People explained that even the most experienced gardener needs a helping hand in winter.

The experts said: “If you have a greenhouse, a thermometer can track day and night temperatures, letting you know when to intervene if conditions become less favourable for particular plants like artichokes, tomatoes and peppers.

“Adding a gas or electric heater can help through cold snaps and most include a thermostat too, as an added bonus. Make sure to open your vents regularly to keep the air moving to deter fungal diseases such as grey mould and powdery mildew.

“Cold frames can be a great investment too, a halfway house between a greenhouse and outside planting. 

“Multiple layers of horticultural fleece can also be laid down on top of your plants and keep them warm and frost-free, but make sure to peg it down properly on a windy day.”

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“Perpetual spinach, Swiss chard and kale are also very resilient, making excellent cut and come again winter crops.

“Plant broad beans and peas in autumn and be the envy of your neighbours when you get an extra early crop in spring.”

When it comes to extremely cold weather, opting to bring them inside can help to protect them.

Windowsills, if property sealed from drafts, can make a great place for fruit and vegetable plants over the winter months.

The Greenhouse People said: “However, you may wish to consider purchasing grow lights, which are ideal for seed starting. 

“Make sure you choose full spectrum lights because they ensure every plant gets the type of light it needs for maximum growth.

“Your central heating may dry out plants, so keep an eye on their moisture levels. 

“Make sure to use soil designed for indoor planting, as outside soil can contain weed seeds and pests, which you won’t want in your home.”

Although spring and summer may seem like a long way off, the experts recommended to start planning for it.

This way when it comes to spring, crops will be thriving from all the work put in months prior.

The Greenhouse People continued: “It could also be wise to consider which new equipment you should prioritise saving for or redesigning your outside space to increase growing power.

“You can get ahead and make your own compost from fallen leaves.

“Place damp leaves in a black plastic bin liner, tie a knot at the top and add a few air holes. Leave the bag in a sheltered position outside for six months, or even better, a year if you can wait that long.”



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