January is often the coldest month of the year and it’s important to carry on protecting your garden from frosts, winds, heavy rain and possible snow.
Give nature a helping hand
Although there doesn’t seem to be much happening in the garden at this time of year, the need for food will often drive birds and other wildlife into the garden. Birds will really appreciate any food and water that you put out for them. Fat balls are particularly good energy providers for them during the winter months. It’s also important to make sure that bird baths are kept clean and that the water isn’t frozen over.
Give potatoes a grow
January is a great time to start growing potatoes in pots. Growing veg in pots and planters is a perfect solution for small gardens or balconies. 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. Using rainwater on your garden is a great eco-friendly option, plus plants often prefer it!
Planning and planting
They say that gardeners are true optimists because they’re always planning ahead and this is especially true at 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 the coming year’s vegetable plot.
January is a great time to start sowing onions, broad beans, peas, leeks, carrots and spinach under cover. You can also grow salad leaves and herbs indoors. If you have a greenhouse, sow tomatoes now for an early crop.
You can also start to plant fruit trees and bushes if it isn’t too cold.
The winter can be a stressful time for houseplants, so give them the care they need for best results. Check them regularly to see if they need watering and for any pest problems. Make sure you don’t over-water plants – this is the commonest reason for them dying. Only feed houseplants that are in flower, using a high potash liquid feed. Miracle-Gro Pour & Feed is the easy way to feed houseplants.
Trees, shrubs, roses & climbers
Continue to plant hardy trees, shrubs, climbers, roses and hedges on fine days, as long as the soil isn’t frozen solid or waterlogged. At this time of year you may be able to get your hands on bare-root plants. These are cheaper than containerised plants, so a better bet when you have a lot of planting to do – such as a new rose bed or hedge.
Quick tips for January
Fruit and Veg:
- Prune fruit trees
- Plan vegetable rotation
- Plant fruit trees and bushes
- Repair/shape lawn edges
- Brush off worm casts
- Rake up leaves
- Central heating can often dry out house plants so give then a regular misting with water
- Recycle your Christmas tree
- Feed the birds
- Check plant supports
- Service power tools
- Wash out empty pots
- Clear algae from paths