January is often the coldest month and it is important to continue protecting your garden from frosts, winds, heavy rain and possibly snow.

Give nature a helping hand

Although there doesn’t seem to be much activity in the garden at this time of year, the quest to find food will often drive birds and other wildlife into the garden. Birds will desperately appreciate a little extra food and water. Fat balls are great energy providers during the winter months. It’ important to ensure that bird baths are kept clean and that the water isn’t frozen over.

Give potatoes a grow

January is an excellent time to start growing potatoes in pots. This is a fantastic  way of growing your own veg when space is limited. Charlottes in particular are well suited to pots but give other varieties a go too.

Become a water gatherer

Consider buying and installing a water butt ready for summer. Rain water is perfect for acid loving ericaceous plants who can often find tap water slightly too alkaline.

Planning ahead

They say that gardeners are true optimists because they are always planning ahead and how true that is for this time of year. From the comfort and warmth of your armchair January is the perfect time to start planning by ordering seeds and bulbs in preparation for next year’s vegetable plot. Perennials such as asparagus and  artichokes can be welcome additions to existing plots. Other vegetables suitable to grow in January include: parsnips, swede, sprouting broccoli, sprouts and celeriac. If puddings are your thing give gooseberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants a try.

Quick tips for January

Fruit and Veg:

  • Prune fruit trees
  • Plan vegetable rotation
  • Plant fruit trees and bushes

Ornamental:

  • Lawn:
  • Repair/ Shape lawn edges
  • Brush off worm casts
  • Rake up leaves

Indoor:

  • Central heating can often dry out house plants so give then a regular misting with water

Hard Gardening:

  • Recycle Christmas tree
  • Feed the birds
  • Check plant supports
  • Service power tools
  • Wash out empty pots
  • Clear algae from paths
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