Januarys jobs in the garden – Plenty of frost and some snow!

January’s probably the quietest month in the garden as frosts start to bite and we’ll probably see some snow. However, there’s still a few jobs to get on with.

General jobs to do in the garden:

– Recycle the Christmas tree. See our full article here.

– Taps should have been insulated or turned off by now and structures insulated, if not don’t delay do it today.

– Remember to ventilate greenhouses on dry, sunny days.

– Deciduous hedges such as hawthorn, blackthorn or beech can be cut back, reshaped and renovated while they are dormant and leafless.

– To improve drainage and reduce waterlogging, stand planted patio pots up on feet so that they are slightly raised from direct contact with the ground. Also during very cold spells move them to a sheltered position.

– Continue to look after the wildlife, they need you even more now. Clean and replenish bird baths and feeders. Keep an eye on ice in baths.

– Keep mice away from stored produce.

Jobs to do in the flower garden:

– When leaf shoots begin to show on crocuses, remove the pots from the beds where they had been placed, clean the pots of any old compost and place them in a cold greenhouse for the flowers to develop.

– Cut down flowering perennials to ground level. Any newly panted perennials or winter bedding that have been lifted by frost should be firmed back in.

– Leave the faded flower heads on your hydrangeas until the spring, as they will provide frost protection to the swelling buds further down the stems.

– Check climbers are securely attached with plant ties to their supports.

Jobs to do in the vegetable garden:

– Remove all remaining plant debris from the vegetable plot. Do not compost any diseased material such as blight-infected potatoes, onions suffering from white rot and any crops with rust. Burn or bin the diseased material.

– Continue to harvest Parsnips, Celery, Brussel sprouts, Turnips and Swedes. If required cover with fleece in freezing conditions.

Jobs to do in the fruit garden:

– If you’ve not done it yet prune open-grown apples and pears (but not those trained against walls) – Apple and pear trees trained as free-standing bushes are best pruned every winter to ensure a good cycle of fruiting wood. Trees that are not pruned become less productive and congested with old branches. The aim is to create an open goblet shape with a framework of four to five main branches.

– Plant gooseberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants but avoid planting in waterlogged, parched or frozen soil.

What to do with the lawn:

– Keep clearing leaves off the lawn to let the light in and prevent dead patches appearing.

– Spike lawns with a garden fork to improve drainage and aeration especially if snows likely.

– Clean & dry the mower before storing it in the dry – it’s a good time to get the blades sharpened and the mower serviced.