Garden tips for January
It might be the middle of winter and freezing but as the days lengthen the garden starts to grow. Now is a great time to plan, and order seeds and plants.
If you bought a potted or rooted Christmas tree, and you’ve got space in your garden, then plant it outside. Hopefully, it will survive for Christmas next year.
Continue to plant bare-root deciduous hedging plants and trees. Stakes should be put in place before the root ball to avoid damage to the roots.
If the ground is not frozen or waterlogged you can move established deciduous trees and shrubs.
If the weather is mild you can lay a new turf or repair hollows and bumps in an existing lawn.
If your lawn suffers dieback from treading during the wet, muddy season, laying stepping-stones through it will allow easy access across it without causing damage.
In the vegetable garden
Add well-rotted manure and compost to your soil. No need to dig it in yet, just spread it over the soil and the weather and worms will do some of the work for you.
There are still a lot of vegetables that can be harvested, mostly roots and brassicas, including leeks, parsnips, sprouts, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, swede and turnip.
In the fruit garden
If the ground is not frozen all bare-rooted fruit trees and bushes can be planted this month. They need to be planted whilst dormant.
Make sure all stakes and supports are strong and doing their job. Winter storms can often weaken them.
If you have not done so already, cut all autumn fruiting raspberry canes to about 3cm (1in) above soil level.
In the greenhouse
Clean all your old pots and seed trays, so that they are ready for next spring. Thorough cleaning will reduce pest and disease problems and will reduce your propagation and sowing problems.
Check your greenhouse insulation to make sure it is still secure.
Remove snow from greenhouse and conservatory roofs, to prevent damage and to allow good light penetration.
Remove leaves from guttering on greenhouses and sheds.
Ventilate the greenhouse on mild sunny days; this will help to reduce fungal infections.
Wildlife and Ponds
Keep feeding the birds, as the weather gets colder it gets increasingly difficult to find food. Put out plenty of seed, nuts and fresh water for them each day. They will help eat your pests in the spring and summer.
Monitor the water level of your pond, as hard frosts can cause defects in the liner and in concrete structures. If the water level drops considerably, then it may have developed a leak. Be sure to keep it topped up until repairs can be carried out in the spring.