What can be harvested in January?
- Who doesn’t love munching on freshly picked sweetcorn? The fresher the better with this crop as immediately after harvest the sucrose sugars start to convert to starch, meaning the cobs lose their sweetness. Pick when tassels turn brown. To avoid harvesting unripe cobs, peel back the leaves at the top and pierce some of the kernels. They should be plump and golden with a milky juice inside.
- Dig up potatoes as the tops turn yellow and die down. If you can’t bear to wait that long, try carefully ferreting around in the soil to pick some of the small sweet ones at the top, leaving the rest undisturbed. It’s called ‘bandicooting’ and means the plant will keep producing more spuds while you harvest a few at a time.
- Keep picking herbs so they’ll produce more leaves. During summer their flavour is at its most intense and a few handfuls of coriander, mint, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme will make your barbecues and salads even more delicious.
- If you’re lucky enough to have space for stonefruit such as plums, peaches and nectarines, make sure you pick them quickly or the birds will beat you to it.
- Likewise with strawberries and other berries. Regular harvesting also encourages more berries.
- Garlic can be harvested from now on, ideally when the leaves turn yellow.
- Pick courgettes regularly when they’re small so they don’t turn into large marrows. A layer of straw mulch around plants will help keep fruit off the ground and stop pests eating them.