A new year of gardening, and despite the cold there is still a lot to do | gardening tips

Good year. It’s time to start working slowly and planning the plot. Just because it’s darker, maybe humid or cold, doesn’t mean there aren’t things to do in the garden.

First, colonize a few windowsills in your home. Sow sweet peas in a sunnier location indoors. They will appreciate the heat. We have the Higgledy Garden selection quietly vibrating, almost ready to go.

Sow hardier spinach and salad seeds in trays on sills. Although first negotiate this with other important people. Order your early potatoes to start crunching them. I still use egg trays on a shelf in the boy’s old room.

Check online and in local newspapers for potato days / potato farmers near you. Also look for upcoming Seedy Sundays or other neighborhood exchanges.

These chronicles of the first Sunday of the month have always relied on advice drawn from experience, books and notes on what work to do and when. Reread chronicles, newspapers and manuals, consult the almanac. I fear, however, that some of this learning is becoming almost obsolete. We live in a time of rapidly changing weather conditions. See a seemingly inexorable change in temperatures and its effect on the soil and the seasons.

Not long ago, for example, spring bulbs had to be brought indoors to bloom at Christmas. Not anymore – at least in London and even in Denmark, where we grow them in Henri’s beach house. Both sites saw the spring narcissus bloom in mid-November. Daisies were still strewn along the beach. For now, the frozen sea in the north is over, the deep Danish cold. Maybe it’s just this time last year that the Scandinavian winter isn’t done with us yet. I hope.

Assuming then that many of the rules are still valid, order early potatoes, your mulches and manures. Sow seeds of hope indoors or outdoors under cover.

Wherever you are, whatever your garden, I wish you all good growth in 2023.

Allan Jenkins’ Plot 29 (4th Estate, £9.99) is out now. Order it for £8.49 at guardianbookshop.com

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