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Gardening Tips

Gardening jobs for January

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Gardening Tips for April

The longer, lighter evenings in April provide time to get your garden ready for the summer      ...

A graphic of a garden fork and trowel

It might be the middle of winter but take advantage of any dry, sunny days to get out and about in the garden.

Now is the perfect time to plan for the coming gardening year and to buy seeds and plants, organise your vegetable crop rotation for the coming season and choose any new winter fruit bushes you want to plant.

January is the month for a good old tidy:

  • remove any remaining leaves from the ground
  • cut back herbaceous perennials to encourage fresh spring growth, but keep them mulched and leave some old stems for insects and bugs to snooze in until spring
  • inspect stored tubers such as Cannas or Dahlias for signs of rot and throw away any soft or diseased ones
  • clean out pots and seed trays ready for planting and to make sure you don’t get caught out, arrange a service for your lawn mower
  • prune and cut back dormant shrubs such as rhododendrons, wisteria, honeysuckle and rose bushes. You can also prune apple and pear trees if you haven't already done so, as well as many deciduous trees
  • prevent damage to shrubs, conifers or hedges, by gently shaking or brushing off any heavy snow; but try to avoid walking on snow covered grass as this can leave marks.
     

Looking forward:

Brighten up the dullest winter’s day by buying spring plants such as snowdrops or hellebores in flower and adding to your garden.

If you have a heated propagator, frame or greenhouse think ahead and sow some flowers to harvest in summer. Sweet peas, geraniums, petunias, begonias and dahlias can all be sown now as long as they have light and heat to germinate. Chillies, aubergines and basil can also be started now.

Indoor plants and bulbs

At this time of year, it is best to move house plant to a brighter position such as a sunny windowsill. If your plants are near a radiator, they may dry out quicker so keep an eye of them and mist or water as necessary.

To brighten up your windowsills, add small pots of snowdrops, crocus or iris, which can be planted outdoors afterwards. Plant amaryllis bulbs in pots, for spectacular indoor flowers in early spring.

Christmas indoor flowering bulbs such as hyacinths and daffodils are often thrown away, but if planted out should reflower next year. After flowering, remove the flowers but retain the leaves. Keep the compost moist and plant out in the garden after the last frosts.

Wildlife

Remember to put out food for the birds, garden birds can rely on feeders so keep them topped up and clean them regularly. Encourage birds by using a variety of feeders, blackbirds and robins are ground feeders. If you have a birdbath, try to clear ice during the winter months to allow the birds a drink. Leave some garden areas uncut to provide shelter for wildlife.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to clean out bird boxes ready for the season ahead. It is best to do this in the middle of the day, as birds may be using them overnight.

 

 

Gardening jobs for January