Seasonal tips and topics

Gardening in January

January might be the middle of winter but as the days lengthen the garden starts to grow. Now is a great time to plan for the coming gardening year and to order seeds and plants. Enjoy the fresh air, on dry sunny days, and check your winter protection, stakes, ties, and supports are still working after any severe weather. Also put out food for birds and leave some garden areas uncut, a little longer, to provide shelter for wildlife in your garden.


Top gardening jobs this month

1 Prune apple and pear trees

Pruning an apple or pear tree can be daunting for many gardeners. Rather than be put off completely or panic and inadvertently harm the tree back by excessive pruning, instead try our easy guide and enjoy a well-shaped, productive tree.

2 Clean pots and greenhouses ready for spring

Cleaning greenhouses, whether glass or plastic, greatly improves the growing environment for plants. By removing the algae, moss and grime it lets in more light and helps control pests and diseases too.

3 Dig over any vacant plots that have not been dug already

Soil cultivation or digging may be hard work but, if taken slowly, it need not be back-breaking. In fact, here we describe how it can often be omitted or at least minimised.

4 Disperse worm casts in laws

5 Inspect stored tubers of Dahlia, Begonia and Canna for rots or drying out

6 Recycle your Christmas tree by shredding it for mulch

7 Start forcing rhubarb

8 Plan your vegetable crop rotations for the coming season

9 Keep putting out food and water for hungry birds

10 Make a polythene shelter for outdoor peaches and nectarines, to protect against peach leaf curl