Why not start your New Year in the garden? January is a great month to plan what needs to be done during the month and beyond, be sure to remember the birds this month as the temperatures drop and have your shears at the ready for pruning and tidying. Below are some January hints and tips put together by our Chairman and Horticulturist John Richardson.
1) Bring inside bowls of bulbs as they show signs of growth.
2) Store shrubs arriving from nurseries in a frost-free shed with straw around the roots. Complete the planting as soon as conditions improve.
3) Keep house plant warm (45-55deg.) with plenty of light. Do not feed until the plants start growing strongly.
4) Annual surface growing weeds on light soils should be removed or buried at whatever stage of growth.
5) Order new Gladioli corms. Unpack them on arrival into shallow boxes and check for disease. Young, high-necked corms with a small root base are better than old corms with a larger flatter root zone.
6) Remove any recently fallen foliage from around alpines and lightly break up the soil.
7) Continue pruning fruit trees and bushes; collect and burn the wastage once done.
8) Treat wooden objects such as tree stakes, wooden wheelbarrows, benching supports etc., but do not use creosote as the chemical and even the fumes can cause harm if in close contact with plants.
9) Place a couple of forks of well-rotted manure on top of a mature rhubarb crown to produce an early crop of stems. Or do even better place an upturned dustbin or similar over the whole crown to produce those beautiful red and yellow stems we see in the greengrocers during the Spring.
10) If the grass needs to be cut due to very mild weather, remove the grass mowings, as it is will be too cold for decomposition.
11) If you want to make an early start to the gardening year, cover some areas with polythene or cloches to protect the soil from the hardest frost and the heavy spring rain. This can increase soil temperatures by up to 6 degrees.
12) Have a walk around the garden with some paper and a pencil to identify those spots which need other plants, or just a change of species. Have a look from the house window, identify the gaps, and plan for the year what you wish to change.
13) If very hard frosts are anticipated, wrap tender plants such Agapanthus with straw or bubble-wrap and tie securely.
14) Do you have enough winter colour? Plant willow and Cornus etc., together with coloured conifers and winter aconites for a brighter winter garden.
15) Clean out all rainwater gutters from garden-related spouts and down-pipes to prevent blockages in Spring.
16) Keep bird baths topped up and make sure they are not iced over. Also, keep food stores topped up for them.
In need of more hints and tips? head to our solution page here
Posted 21st Dec 2:24pm