Gardening in January
YOUR GARDEN IN JANUARY
Your January garden is filled with hidden gems
Where has the time gone? At the time of writing, we were hearing of further COVID findings after what's been another unforeseen year. So, here's hoping for good health and happiness in 2022, and spending time in your garden can bring just that!
I've talked before about how keeping active in the garden can be a great winter workout, which is especially needed after the festivities of Christmas. Keep active outdoors by clearing away any soggy, broken stems of perennials and removing any spent foliage of Hellebores. Apple and pear trees can be pruned, removing any dead, diseased or damaged wood and cutting back new growth.
Perhaps more importantly, keeping on top of your garden during the winter months, no matter how small the task, is an excellent way of focusing the mind and boosting your mental wellbeing to beat the January blues. Winter can be tough, so dedicating a little time to spend in your garden each week is an excellent motivator! Pleasant tasks, which aren't too strenuous, include dead heading your Pansy and Viola baskets to extend their flowering period.
January is the perfect time to refresh your patio pots with Primroses. One of my favourite varieties has to be Primrose 'Everlast'. Its subtle yellow shade is just enough to add a little sparkle to your garden from late winter and into spring. Everlast is extremely hardy so will survive the frosts still to come and will also come back year after year. So, once they've finished flowering for the season, plant out in the border ready for next year.
There are more winter flowering shrubs than you think which are great for adding warming tones to your garden during January. Hamamelis, commonly known as Witch Hazel, with its ribbon shaped, sunny citrine flowers is one of them! Witch Hazels are fairly easy to care for once established, being low maintenance and having a brilliant disease resistance. They are also an excellent choice for introducing fresh, floral scented flowers to your garden.
The real gem of January for me is Cornus 'Midwinter Fire'. Perfect for cottage, coastal, architectural and even wildlife gardens, Cornus is a high performing all-rounder which produces off-white flowers in summer, followed by beautiful berries in autumn. But it truly steals the show in winter, when its bare amber stems glow in the sunlight, effortlessly brightening up borders.
On frosty days, it's best to keep off the grass so you don't cause damage to the roots. These days are the perfect excuse for enjoying a cup of tea, admiring the picturesque view and planning ahead for spring!
I wish you all a very Happy New Year and here's to brighter days to come!
JANUARY ON THE VEG PLOT
Happy New Year! It's time to get ready for the fast approaching growing season which lies ahead.
On colder days, spend time in the shed tidying up and servicing your tools. Clean, sharp tools perform better, making the work easier. Plus, a tidy shed means less time searching and more time working when the busy season starts.
Prepare your pots, seed trays and propagators, ready to be called into action when it is time.
Seed potatoes will be around to buy now. Get the first earlies, second earlies and main crop varieties of your choice. Place the seed potatoes in a light frost free place, upright in an egg box or seed tray to sprout, known as chitting. You're looking for short, dark sprouts to form to get the potatoes off to a good start, ready for planting out in March and April.
It is a good time to set up a raspberry bed. Look out for bare rooted raspberry canes, these 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.
When the weather is too bad to get to the plot, work out a growing plan and have an early shop for seeds needed for the year ahead.