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Your Garden in January

Your Garden in January

YOUR GARDEN IN JANUARY

Happy new year

With Christmas behind us and life returning to normal, we can start to anticipate the year ahead. It's still cold, but we have moved beyond the winter solstice now and, slowly but surely, the days are lengthening as we head towards spring.

In January, the weather has a big say in how much time we spend outdoors. On cold, bright winter days, the garden is really pretty, with frosted berries, leaves and twigs glistening in the sun, bright stems of Cornus glowing beautifully and Hellebores putting on a show. But there's not much you can do out there when it's frosty (except to ensure that your tender plants are protected of course – last month's advice still applies here).

However, if the weather is good, we can always find something to be getting on with in the garden. There's nothing like a bit of winter digging and outdoor activity to banish the January blues and get some warming physical exercise after the excesses of Christmas.

If you haven't already done so, apple and pear trees can be pruned, removing any dead, diseased or damaged wood and cutting new growth back to four buds. Deciduous shrubs are fine to be planted, as long as the ground is neither frosty nor waterlogged, and it can also be a good time to relocate plants into a different position of the garden.

When planting new trees and shrubs, it's always worthwhile putting the stake in prior to planting to avoid any damage to the root ball. Also, if you live in a rural area, rabbit guards are useful around new trees and shrubs, as they prevent animals such as rabbits, sheep and deer from stripping bark from the tree, damage which, depending upon severity, can destroy even established trees.

If you have a greenhouse or garden shed, now is a good time to clear them out and clean them, in readiness for the new season. Trays and pots should be cleaned with hot water and a mild detergent, rinsing them well afterwards. Take a shopping trip to the garden centre for new items you may need.

Paths and patios can be cleaned now too, by scrubbing with a broom or blasting with a pressure washer. You might as well start the year with a clean and tidy garden.

If we do have snow, then brush any heavy deposits off hedges and conifers to prevent branches being damaged by the weight. Also, avoid walking on your lawn if it is blanketed by snow or heavy frost as this can damage the grass beneath. Instead, take advantage of this time to sit in the warmth inside and plan the changes you want to make in your garden this year.

My feature plant this month is the Chinese witch hazel, Hamamelis mollis, whose distinctive and scented yellow flowers cling to its bare stems between December and February. A truly eye-catching shrub, perfect for the winter garden.

Don't forget to keep feeding our feathered friends through the winter, especially when it's frosty.

JANUARY ON THE VEG PLOT

Happy New Year. The days are getting longer and the growing season fast approaching, so let's get ready. As Will has said, clean and tidy your tools, trays, greenhouse and shed. Clean, sharp tools perform better, making the work easier, and a tidy shed means less time searching and more time doing!

Seed potatoes will be around to buy now. Get the first earlies, second earlies and main crop varieties of your choice. Place in a light, frost-free place in an egg box or seed tray to sprout. As you see the chunky dark sprouts or chits develop, you really feel the season has started. When planted out later in the year, the plants are already growing so will get away fast.

It's a good time to set up a raspberry bed. Look out for bare rooted raspberry canes which work out cheaper than pot grown plants. Dig over and weed an area, preferably in a sunny spot, 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.

Keep warm out there.

thanks to https://www.bartongrange.co.uk/plants-and-gardening/gardening-advice/

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