The New Year is here, and it’s time to get back out into the garden! The weather may still be wintry, but there’s plenty to do in your greenhouse and even outdoors to get ready for a great spring and summer season. Here are our top 15 gardening tips for January.
15 gardening tips for January
Provided the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged, now’s a good time to plant bare-root shrubs, trees, roses and fruit bushes. Bare root plants are great value for money, perfect if you’re planning to plant a new hedge or extend a shrub border.
If you didn’t plant snowdrop bulbs last autumn, buy some that are in flower and plant them now. Snowdrops establish much more quickly when planted ‘in the green’ than bulbs.
Cut back any old perennial stems and leaves that have gone soggy in the winter rains and add them to your compost heap.
Cut off any old tatty hellebore foliage and dispose of it. Getting rid of these leaves helps stop the spread of hellebore black spot (a fungal disease) and makes it easier to see the flowers. Leave the fresh new foliage to grow.
Keep deadheading winter pansies, and they’ll reward you with a flush of flowers in spring.
If you haven’t pruned your climbing roses, you can still do it now, and it’s easier to see what needs cutting when the plants are dormant.
Now’s also an excellent time to prune shrub roses before they start growing, removing all weak and spindly growth and cutting back main branches by one-third above an outward-facing bud.
Prune apple and pear trees, removing any dead, damaged or crossing branches and reducing congestion. Aim to create a tree with an open vase shape.
Give wisteria its January pruning – cut back last year’s shoots to 2-3 buds from the main framework.
Force rhubarb plants by covering them with a bucket. This will encourage the growth of delicious tender new stems for delicious desserts.
Tidy up the greenhouse and clean out all those old flower pots so that you’re ready to go when it’s time to sow seeds in spring.
Recycle your Christmas tree by putting it out for your local council collection, or chop it up and shred the branches to make mulch for your shrub borders.
Keep bird feeders and birdbaths topped up to see your garden birds through the last cold months of winter.
Harvest the last of your parsnips and leeks for satisfying winter stews
When the weather’s too cold and wet to go outside, get yourself a cup of tea, plan this year’s vegetable crops and order your seeds. And don’t forget to order seed potatoes, onion sets and garlic bulbs for spring planting.
We have a fantastic range of plants, seeds and gardening kits in our centres, so visit us soon and get your gardening year off to a great start!