Gardening in January
We’ve put together a detailed list of jobs that can be done whilst you’re gardening in January:
It’s time to start digging and preparing the soil. Turn over any bare areas of ground with a spade or fork and work in plenty of compost or rotted manure to add some goodness. If you’re planning to grow any cane fruits or raspberries, plant them now.
Make your winter flowers (like Cyclamen) last a bit longer by cutting off the dead flower heads and removing any yellowing leaves. Also now is a great time to plant Sweet Peas, Geraniums and Gazinia seeds.
Cut back (prune) any Wisteria side shoots to about 10cm in length. This will make the plant flower more later on in the year.
Protect your plants from frost by wrapping the pots with bubble wrap.
Get your potted trees undercover for the next four months. Apply a plant oil-based winter wash to them to kill off any pests. Make your raspberries strong and healthy by trimming back any extreme top growth (the supporting canes should be about 15cm above the bush when you’re finished).
Choose bright, beautiful winter-flowering houseplants like Cyclamen and Azalea. Keep an eye on them, deadheading the droopy flowers to help the plant last longer. Allow the foliage (leaves) to keep growing as this will make the bulb produce plenty of flowers next year.
A thick carpet of wet leaves is no good for the grass. So make the most of any dry days by sweeping up any fallen leaves. Repair and re-shape lawn edges when the weather gets a bit better.
Perennials (winter surviving plants)
Hellebores love the new year, with most plants flowering in early January. If you’re going to plant some make sure you add plenty of manure to the soil. Sprinkle some mulch around any emerging plants, to add nutrients to the soil and keep it moist.
Protect your shrubs from frosts and sharp winds, by wrapping them up in hessian or fleece. If it snows, shake excess snow from branches to avoid branches snapping.
Cut back deciduous trees whilst they are dormant (no leaves). Try planting Salix Kilmarnock – a beautiful small weeping tree, ideal for little gardens. Available at Homebase between December and March.
Prepare the soil, by clearing away the remains of old crops and spreading a layer of compost or manure over the cleared ground. Make a trench for runner beans and plant onion seeds indoors ready for moving to the veg patch later on.