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As the days begin to lengthen and the gardening year starts anew, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.
While the weather might be cold, there are still plenty of tasks to take care of in January. From pruning and tidying to planning and preparing, here are some of my tips to help you make the most of the month.
Clean and Organise
- Clean pots, tools, water butts, and greenhouses. Removing algae, moss, and grime from these items will improve the growing environment and help control pests and diseases.
- Disperse worm casts in lawns. This will help prevent damage to the grass and improve its appearance.
- Inspect stored tubers for rot or drying out: This is especially important for tubers such as dahlias, begonias, and cannas.
- Recycle your Christmas tree by shredding it for mulch to provide nutrients for your garden.
Plan and Prepare
- Order seeds and plants. January is the perfect time to start thinking about what you want to grow this year. Consider ordering seeds and plants online or from a local nursery.
- Prepare the ground for early peas. Place a cloche over the soil this month to warm it up before sowing.
- Plan your vegetable crop rotations for the coming season. It will help prevent soil-borne diseases and pests and improve the overall health of your garden.
In the Flower Garden
- Prune and tidy. January is a good time to prune wisteria, roses, and rhododendrons. Cut back ornamental grasses and old stems of perennials like sedum. Remove old hellebore leaves and faded flowers from winter pansies.
- Start forcing rhubarb to help you get an early crop of sweet, tender stalks.
In the Vegetable Garden
- Harvest and protect. Keep harvesting parsnips and leeks as needed, and protect potato grow bags with frost protection fleece on cold nights if your greenhouse is unheated.
- Remove yellowing leaves from winter brassicas to help prevent pests and diseases and improve the appearance of the plants.
In the Fruit Garden
- January is a prime time for pruning apple and pear trees, as well as gooseberries, currants, and summer-fruiting raspberries. Don’t forget to prune black, red, and white currants, and to tie in new shoots of blackberries and hybrid berries.
- Make a polythene shelter for outdoor peaches and nectarines: It will protect against peach leaf curl and improve the health of your fruit trees.
Take Care of Wildlife
- Put out food and water for hungry birds to help them survive the cold winter months.
- Leave some areas of the garden uncut for shelter. This will provide a place for wildlife to hide and find food.
Overall, January is a great time to get a head start on the gardening year. Whether you’re pruning and tidying, preparing for the growing season, or just enjoying the fresh air, there’s always something to do in the garden this month. So, go get ’em!