January Garden Tips
THE VILLAGE GARDENER
Happy new year. Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas. January is usually the coldest month, so wrap up warm when you start getting the garden ready for the year ahead. We start as usual with the RHS tips for January. I would really like to hear about your ideas on how we can all improve our gardens.
- Recycle your Christmas tree by shredding it for mulch.
- Clean pots and greenhouses ready for spring.
- Dig over any vacant plots.
- Disperse any worm casts on lawns.
- Inspect stored tubers of dahlias, begonias and canna lilies.
- Prune apple and pear trees.
- Start forcing rhubarb.
- Plan your vegetable rotation for the coming year.
- Keep putting food and water out for the birds.
- Make a polythene cover for outdoor peaches and nectarines to protect against leaf curl.
It may seem early but with a propagator you can sow begonia, pelargoniums and lobelia seeds. Sweet peas can also be sown this month. Sweet peas that were sown last Autumn can be re-potted but be careful not to damage the roots. From the middle of the month seed potatoes and onion sets will be available. These days most things can be bought online but these really ought to be seen before purchasing.
Cut the old leaves off hellebores to expose the flowers. Once the winter grasses have started to look scruffy, they can be cut back.
Still a good time to move trees and shrubs as long as the ground is not frozen. You can still plant bare root plants, making sure that the support stake goes in first so as not to damage the roots. Wisteria can be pruned now by cutting back to 2 or 3 buds. Check all other plant supports to avoid wind damage.
Mr Darlington in Larchwood has a lawn to be envied. One of his winter tips is to stay off the grass in freezing conditions. Walking on the fine grass can lead to it being scorched which leaves black marks that won’t recover quickly.
Garden centres will be selling off stock now that Christmas is over. There are bargains to be had, especially pots planted up with the odd decoration thrown in. These planters will last for months and I still have one from last January.
Cut flowers in the home especially at this time of year can really brighten up a dull day. To keep the flowers looking good for longer, a mixture of 1 litre of water, 1 teaspoon of thin bleach, 2 teaspoons of sugar and 4 teaspoons of lemon juice works a treat.
If last year was anything to go by some of the village gardens ought to be shown off on an Open Day, perhaps to raise money for one of your favourite charities.
Take care and good health.