January

Get ahead in your garden this year

January brings us the shortest and coldest days of the year, but even now some plants are growing and flowering as if it were high summer. It is an ideal time to catch up on reading gardening advice and get on with the other jobs that the busy months do not give us time to do. Here are our top 10 tips to get ahead this January:

1. Plant your pot grown Christmas tree - remember to plant as soon as possible in January to enjoy next Christmas. Select a spot that has well drained soil, sun and enough space for your tree to sit comfortably. Then all you need to do is keep it watered and protected.

2. Buy seeds early - spend an hour browsing our seeds in-store. Buy anything that takes your fancy before the spring rush.

3. Look out for plug plants - these small bedding plants offer great value for money, and are available early in the year. Pot them up and grow them on before planting outside after the risk of frost.

4. Decide on a colour theme - give your garden a designer look by colour theming your containers and accessories. Plan ahead so you can keep your eyes peeled for things that fit in with your scheme.

5. Clean and service tools - get your tools up to scratch so they're in tip-top shape when the gardening season gets in full swing or browse our range in-store. Petrol mowers will benefit from a professional service.

6. Move plants - if you are planning on moving any plants in your garden it's best to do it now when they're fairly dormant, before they put on lots of spring growth.

7. Design new borders - get creative and plan new borders. Use the traditional method, and take pencil to paper to work out perfect plant combinations for the New Year.

8. Tidy your borders - cut back and clear dead foliage and the last of any fallen leaves. Take care not to damage emerging roots.

9. Chit first early potatoes – chit seeded potatoes for 3 - 4 weeks then plant to enjoy tender new potatoes in early summer - Look out for Duke of York, Epicure and Rocket varieties in-store.

10. Force rhubarb - enjoy an early harvest by covering the crowns with a bucket or rhubarb forcer - you'll have tasty young stems in no time. 

 

Flowers

  • Check and firm in all newly planted shrubs and trees
  • Check Dahlia tubers, Gladioli and Begonia corms that are being stored and remove any that are rotting
  • Spot water containers, pots, tubs and window boxes if necessary
  • Remove snow from evergreen trees and shrubs

Fruit

  • Check and firm in all newly planted shrubs and trees
  • Plant new fruit bushes when the ground is not too wet or frozen
  • Check and loosen tree ties, replace any that are broken
  • Check stakes on fruit trees for being loose or broken

Vegetables

  • Dig over vacant plots and leave rough for frost to break down
  • Check stored vegetables and throw out any that are rotting
  • Towards the end of the month consider putting up plastic cloches to warm the soil and give early salad crops a good start.

Lawns

  • Keep off in frosty weather
  • Have the lawn mower serviced and the blades sharpened
  • If puddles stay on the lawn, spike with a garden fork or aerator to aid drainage

Greenhouse

  • Start to heat Greenhouses, which have Peaches and Vines in them
  • Prune Vines now before sap rises
  • Check heating is still running efficiently
  • Ventilate cold houses on mild days
  • Check plants regularly for pests and disease i.e., moulds and fungus

General Tasks

  • Keep an area of the pond free of ice to help fish to breathe
  • Store seed potatoes in a dark place
  • Clean and oil all garden tools

Plants at their best

Snowdrop
Christmas Box
Witch Hazel
Contorted Hazel
Christmas Rose
Winter flowering Honeysuckle
Silktassel Bush
Holly
Viburnum tinus vars