With this new beginning of the year, at Gardenprue we have decided to show you month by month the main activities that must be carried out in an orchard. To do this, the first week of each month we will publish an entry with recommendations, tips, activities and phases of the main crops during those 30 days. We started with the orchard in January .
WEATHER IN JANUARY
January is a cold, dry and hard month, which together with December win the award for the months with the lowest averages. January is disputed with December, the month with the most frosts and fogs of the whole year. Hence its harshness and cruelty to our gardens.
But let’s remember that we have to go through this phase of inactivity so that in the spring our garden reappears with more force, if possible. But be careful, when we talk about inactivity I mean that of the crops. We have to keep going if we want results!
No matter how tough January is , we can always look on the bright side. The days begin to lengthen and we gradually have more hours of light, which heralds the way to the good, productive months of great plant exuberance. Let’s see what we find in the garden this month.
We are used to having any horticultural product throughout the year in stores and supermarkets. If you have ever planted a garden, you will realize that the products you are obtaining are (what seems to be starting to become fashionable) seasonal.
This gives you a real vision of the cycles of each crop and teaches you that the product grown and harvested at the time, is undoubtedly a more aromatic, tasty and possibly more balanced product in every way.
IT’S TIME TO PICK UP BRASSICAS
It is true that the orchard in January does not give us color and flavor, like the one that spring-summer months can give us. But let’s not forget that many of the products that surround the Brassica genus are highly nutritious and can contribute a lot to our diet. We are talking about the Brasicas. In case you are a little “green”, by Brassicas we mean cauliflowers, cabbages, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc.
Although we plant these crops at the same time, they have a staggered harvesting so it is easy, with minimal sowing planning, to have product throughout the winter. In Spain, broccoli begins to have more acceptance than a few years ago.
It turns out to be a highly nutritious product but little desired culinary. Well combined, we can make great dishes with it. This is told by a server who has spent half a year studying broccoli in the land where it is most consumed, England. But if my testimony is not enough for you, I encourage you to watch a documentary on epigenetics broadcast on TVE 2, where the influence of diet on genes is discussed. They make a very worthy mention of broccoli among others.
DIRECT SOWING OF QUENOPODIACEAE
January is a good time to do a direct sowing of chard and spinach since the great viability and strength of its seeds allows them not to undergo a controlled germination in the nursery. If you look at the entry dedicated to the germinative viability of the seeds, chard and spinach maintain strong viability until the third year, a quality that allows such direct sowing without major problems. In any case, if we want to ensure the cultivation, especially in cold areas, we recommend sowing in a protected seedbed.
Other crops suitable for sowing in this harsh month can be endive, garlic or peas .
SOWING ONION IN SEEDBED
From this month we can sow onion until March in the seedbed. So that you can enjoy a sequenced harvest and not suddenly have 40 kg on the day you are going to harvest, we recommend that you sow every 10 or 15 days to be able to collect onion for a short time. You have until March to do staggered plantings.
In any case, although the orchard in January is not very busy during this month, we must carefully plan the times for sowing, picking, transplanting all the crops of the year. Calculate and optimize the seedbed space that we have, so as not to waste an iota of substrate and be as efficient as possible.
It is time to sit down with a calendar , decide what we want to plant, what crop rotation we are going to use and how we are going to arrange the different crops according to the space we have on the plot.
THE ORCHARD IN JANUARY. THE FRUIT TREES
If we have the idea of planting a fruit tree in the orchard or garden , January is the best month to plant apple, pear and quince trees. We must inform ourselves in our nearest nursery of the varieties and ways of operating with the plant material that they sell to ensure a good planting of what we acquire.
If we already have fruit trees planted from other years, it is a good time for winter treatments . For those who decide to deal with pesticides, mineral oils with broad spectrum fungicides will be a good option to protect them.
In short, the orchard in January may seem lethargic, but only the crops, our head has to think, organize and plan if we want the best results in the times of greatest harvest.
See you in february!