Are you wondering what to do in the garden during January? It can be a cold month with the worst of the Winter weather so when hibernating is top of the list, make sure you do it with plenty of seed catalogues, garden books and a hot chocolate. Build on your successes from the previous year, plan your crop rotations and make lists of all the plants you would like to grow in your garden. The top three areas to look at are:
- Garden and Flowers
- Fruit and Vegetables
Garden and Flowers
- As long as the ground isn't waterlogged or frozen, you can plant out bare root roses ensuring they are in a sunny position.
- Rose bushes can also be pruned now while they are dormant by cutting back to just above a bud and removing any diseased, crossing or dead stems.
- After the trimmings are taken down, don't let your Christmas tree go to waste. Keep an eye out for places to take your tree for recycling or alternatively, you can shred your tree and use it as mulch in the garden, add it to your compost heap or lay it over bare soil to suppress weeds. See our new post here for all our Christmas Tree Recycling ideas.
Fruit and Vegetables
- When you are ready to get your coat on and brave the January air, it’s time to prune your fruit trees, such as apple and pear. Gooseberries can also be pruned and autumn fruiting raspberries can be cut back. You can also feed your fruit trees, bushes and canes with sulphate of potash
- Perfect time to get some fresh air and prepare your fruit for the growing season ahead. If you have stored fruit, just as with any bulbs and plants, keep a weekly check on them to ensure they are all in good condition.
- Write a list of seeds you’d like to grow and stock up at the garden centre
- Buy in seed potatoes and ‘chit’ them in egg boxes
- If you spot any sign of rotting or diseased materials or fruit discard it as soon as possible to make sure it doesn't spread.
- Make sure trays of apples and bags of potatoes have good air circulation and are out of the reach of pests.
- At this time of year, it is essential to supplement natural bird food. If the weather is particularly cold, you may even notice your garden birds becoming much braver in their search for food. Berries and fallen fruits are an important food source but also hang out RSPB approved food to help our feathered friends make it through the winter.
- If you have any piles of fallen branches, twigs and leaves make sure you leave them a little longer as they may be home to garden wildlife, even a hedgehog! You can gently rake grass cuttings and other fallen leaves or stems into the pile to make sure they have a nice warm environment. It will rot down over time naturally.
- Read our full blog post about caring for birds in winter, here!
Now we've covered the main areas, if you still find yourself with time to spare then take a look at these other general jobs to ensure your garden is starting the year in tip, top shape!
Give tools some TLC
Your tools work hard for you all year – and they’ll continue to do so if you set time aside now to return them to tip-top condition. Sand down the shafts of forks, spades and rakes with fine-grade sandpaper, then rub furniture oil into the wood. Sharpen blades with a whetstone before storing in a dry shed, ready to go as you need them in spring. If unfortunately your tools are beyond help, then don't worry! We've plenty of brands to choose from here at the Garden Centre including Wilkinson Sword and Gardman.
- Pinch out overwintered sweet pea seedlings at 10cm tall
- Spray catches and runners with oil so they work smoothly
- Sow tomatoes, aubergines and chillies in a heated propagator
General 'Around the Garden':
- Melt ice on ponds by resting a saucepan of boiling water on the surface
- Check tree stakes and ties are in good condition
- Use bubblewrap to protect containers from frost damage