January Gardener's Calendar

Welcome to a New Year and the start of the next gardening season

 

Many of you may be thinking about some New Year gardening resolutions?  if you are, let the first be maintenance.  Maintenance is the most important thing this month. Your garden is at its most dormant so there’s plenty of time to plan for spring.

 

 

Sowing and Planting

Start to plan ahead by looking at seed catalogues and garden design publications for inspiration. What better time to try something new, than in a New Year?

If you are lucky enough to still have workable ground you can still plant bare root trees, fruit bushes and hedges at this time of year.  Bare root roses will establish easily if planted now, just remember to prune them back to prevent wind rock and to also encourage new growth from the base.   

 

Fruit and Vegetables

It's time to harvest your winter vegetables during this month. If you've had enough of roast, boiled and sauteed over the christmas season, use your glut of vegetables to make wonderfully warming soups, and freeze what is left.

Your vegetable plot may now be looking a little bare. Fill it with more and different types of winter veg. Think about sowing salad leaves, bulb onions, sprouting seeds and start getting those tomatoes ready for the greenhouse. 

If you didn’t choose to harvest your parsnips and add them to your Christmas dinner, you can dig them up whenever you like this month. Artichokes, brussels sprouts, winter cabbage, carrots and leeks will also need to be harvested this month.

Check on any stored fruit and veg to make sure they show no signs of decay. Remove all bad fruit and vegetables, separate any that are left over to reduce the spread of disease and increase air flow.

 

 

Maintenance

The weather may be deterring you from venturing outside to prune your trees and shrubs, but don’t worry, you can hold off for a week or two. Winter pruning needs to be done before the first signs of spring. January is a great month to prune most deciduous trees and shrubs. Fruit trees can be pruned at this time of year, but be careful not to prune spring flowering plants.

Know your soil.  Find out what plants will flourish best in your soil by testing the ph levels. You can buy inexpensive kits to do this. Have you ever wondered why your plants aren’t flourishing as well as you had hoped? Testing your soil is the most accurate way to find out how to improve your soil type and in turn improve your plants!

It’s time to sharpen and clean the blades on secateurs, mowers, loppers and cutting tools to ensure that they’re ready for action next spring. Keep up with odd jobs around the garden and give your sheds and greenhouses a really good declutter. Clear out of all dead or dying plants and generally tidy up. Remember tidying disturbs the hiding places of slugs and snails, thus reducing their numbers next summer.

Protection

Keep protecting your plants from wind rock and keep those pots and containers well wrapped up.  Your garden furniture is also at risk during prolonged wet and cold periods.  Cover furniture with polythene sheeting to protect it from becoming damp and possibly rusty.

Garden birds are at risk this time of year.  Remember to replenish the water in the bird bath regularly during the Winter. Watch out for bird nests when pruning, as many old nests are renovated and re-used. Many gardeners assume that birds are managing because they look plump, but, birds actually fluff up their feathers to minimise the loss of heat from their bodies. They also do this fluffing up when seriously hungry.

Keep bare soil covered. For the next few months, any bare patches of soil should be covered with leaf mould or mulch. Mulch requires very little effort to lay and is great for applying to the roots of established or flowering plants.


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