Gardening Tips for January
Although often January can be a harsh and difficult month for plants and gardening, weather depending, it comes with challenges and opportunities. Looking at the brighter side of things, we’ve passed the shortest day of the year (December 21st) and with each day that passes we gain an extra few minutes of daylight which will amount to at least one extra hour by month’s end. As we have already seen this month, getting four seasons in one day is not uncommon, and after the severe wind and rain this year, there will be plenty of extra chores to do this month.
Providing it stops raining, and wrapping up well to stay warm, it is refreshing and enjoyable to be out in the garden and preparing it for the spring.
- The strong winds will have caused some disruption and possible damage, the combination of strong winds and heavy rains will have made soil conditions soft resulting in disturbance of larger plant/tree root systems. Check all trees and shrubs to ensure they are upright, secure tree ties and heel in soil around shrubs.
- Now is a good time to tidy the planted borders, removing damaged or broken stems, giving the deciduous ornamental grasses a thorough hair cut to make neat and tidy but ready for spring growth.
- Check and tidy all wall climbing plants, cut and remove any damaged or straggling shoots.
- As temperatures can fluctuate from mild to near freezing, leave out some food and water for the birds. This year I’ve noticed the large numbers of finches (Green, Chaffinch, Bull and Gold) flocking to my feeders containing Sunflower seeds. The Blue and Great Tits seem very content to nibble away at the peanut feeders.
- Tidy planted borders and remove any fallen leaf or debris from lawn areas
- An excellent time to plant deciduous bare root trees and shrubs so long as ground is not too wet or frozen
- Given the amount of rain which has fallen over recent weeks, it will probably be better to avoid any risk of cutting the lawn for at least another month. But if conditions allow, a light mow (only during dry spells) will help to keep lawn looking neat.
- Late January/February is a good time to give the roses a good cut to within 200mm of ground level and make them ready for new spring growth.
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