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"the feeling of beginnings."

Depending on your available space indoors or under cover, January is an ideal time to start off late maturing cultivars or alternatively early cropping varieties. For some plants, such as chillies and aubergines, sowing early promises a better crop.

However, sowing early requires the right conditions and lots of patience. Low light levels and fluctuating indoor temperatures can lead to weak seedlings, prone to ‘damping off’. So before you start sowing make sure everything is scrupulously clean. Buy fresh peat free seed compost.

  1. Start chitting (sprouting) first early potatoes as they arrive. Stand them on end in a module tray or egg box and place them in a bright, cool, frost-free place.
  2. In a heated propagator:
  • Celeriac and celery

For fantastic bedding displays in summer.-

  • Antirrhinum nanum
  • Begonia semperflorens
  • Geranium(Pelargonium)
  • Petunias
  • Dianthus barbatus (Carnations/Pinks)
  • Dahlias
  • Delphiniums
  • Coleus 
  1. On the windowsill;
  • Grow your favourite herb seeds such as Coriander or Basil
  • Salad seeds, cauliflowers, spring onions and spinach on a bright windowsill indoors for tasty early greens.
  • Sweet peas in pots, for planting out later
  1.  Sow exhibition onion seeds for a head start, to give the bulbs time to grow as big as possible. Sow your Mammoth seeds in modular trays in a warm place.
  2. Sow broad beans in individual deep pots or modules. Shelter the pots in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse.

 Tip: Grow potatoes in containers under cover in potato bags for a very early crop (Charlotte potatoes are a good variety for this).