Gardening in January
Your Garden in January...
January is a time for fresh starts and new beginnings.
If you haven't already done so, apple and pear trees can now be pruned, removing any dead, diseased or damaged wood and cutting new growth back to four buds. Leave plums, cherries and apricots alone until summer as pruning now will only make them susceptible to silver-leaf infections.
Now your garden is stripped back to its bare bones, it's the perfect time to think of changes or improvements you'd like to make. Take your notepad outside and write down a plan of action. Garden centres, Instagram, books and magazines are all great sources of inspiration!
Deciduous shrubs can be planted in January. Stakes should be put in place before the rootball to avoid damage to the roots. You can also relocate plants if the ground isn't frosty or waterlogged. This works best when your tree or shrub has been in the ground for less than five years.
A fresh start
If you have a greenhouse, now is a good time to give it a thorough clean in readiness for the new season. Keeping the glass clear will help let the sun in and trap the warmth too. Trays and pots should be washed with hot water and a mild detergent, rinsing them well afterwards.
Whether you're preparing a new bed or getting your veg patch ready for spring, nothing beats a bit of winter digging on a fresh winter's day. The cold weather will help break the soil down over the next few weeks and will kill off any perennial weeds if you expose their roots.
Wrap up warm
Plants in pots should be moved to a sheltered spot or a greenhouse. In the ground, shrubs like Camellias and Pieris, and any new plantings, may need a little extra care. Cover with a double layer of fleece and mulch the root area with a thick layer of organic matter to prevent the ground freezing.
If you're impatient for the colour that spring brings to your garden, you can always pot up some winter containers. Garden centres should have plenty of primroses available in January. A favourite of mine is Primula acaulis 'Everlast' with its prolific, and very pretty, lemon yellow flowers.
Over the next few weeks, a succession of different bulbs will start to emerge. They don't like to be covered in leaves so to make sure they get as much sunshine as possible by raking up garden leaves regularly. This will give fresh spring growth the best chance to get off to a good start.
Feed the birds
Continue to leave food and water out for the birds especially if it's frosty. Choose high-energy food sources such as sunflower seeds, nyger seeds, peanuts, chopped up fruit, fat balls, cooked rice and cheese. Try to create different feeding locations in the garden to suit different birds.
My feature plant this month is the Chinese witch hazel, Hamamelis mollis, which is a hardy and colourful winter flowering shrub whose sweetly scented yellow flowers cling to its bare stems between December and February. During the autumn its foliage changes colour to fiery yellows, oranges and reds before losing its leaves in preparation for winter flowering. Its bright winter blossoms are a beautiful sight in the garden when few other plants are blooming. For best results, choose a sunny spot with moist, deep soil where it is sheltered from cold winds.
January on the Veg Plot...
It might be cold outside, but there's still plenty to do in the vegetable garden
Seed potatoes will be available to buy now with lots of varieties to choose from for the early shopper. Get the first earlies, second earlies and main crop varieties of your choice. Place the seed potatoes in a light, frost free place and lay upright in an egg box or seed tray to sprout, which is known as chitting. Short dark sprouts will soon start to form which will get the potatoes off to a good start ready for planting out in March and April.
January is a good time to set up a raspberry bed. Look out for bare rooted raspberry canes as these do work out cheaper than pot grown plants. Dig over and weed an area ready to plant out your canes. A sunny spot is good, but they will tolerate some shade. Place out in a row 45cm apart. Cut any growth down to 15cm. Mulch well and water during dry spells in their first year.
Finally, find some time to install a water butt to collect rainwater over the winter ready for spring. It's not the most glamorous of tasks but it will set you up for a great growing season!
thanks to - https://www.bartongrange.co.uk/gardening-advice/