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Your Garden in JANUARY

Your Garden in JANUARY

YOUR GARDEN IN JANUARY

It's still the middle of winter, but at least we've turned the corner and the days are getting longer

There's something very satisfying about being the other side of the shortest day of the year. Yes, it's cold and the days are still short but at least now they are getting longer. The new year really is a time for looking ahead with optimism, especially for gardeners.

At the time of writing, we've had some very cold and some very wet weather interspersed with bright, sunny days, but who knows what January will bring. Winter weather of course has a big say in how much time we can spend in our gardens, but it also provides plenty of opportunity to make plans and to dream big.

You can appraise your garden now for form and structure, and plan some alterations or additions. Stay warm indoors and gather inspiration from books, magazines and the internet. You can make lists, draw sketches and put plans in place; believe me, you'll soon be dizzy with excitement over how much better your garden is going to look this year!

On bright, fine days, there are always some jobs to be getting on with. Deciduous shrubs and trees can be planted now, as long as the ground is not water-logged or frozen, and there is time to finish off your pruning of apple and pear trees, if you didn't get round to it before Christmas. Remove any dead, diseased or damaged wood and cut back new growth to four buds.

All the advice we gave last month, about protecting tender plants from hard frosts, still stands. In addition, greenhouses can be tidied, seed trays and pots cleaned, and tools sharpened too. One thing you're guaranteed is that spring will definitely arrive at some point and, if you've done all these jobs, at least you'll be ready.

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, as well as spring bulbs in the green, for you to create some very cheerful midwinter displays.

All Primroses are lovely, but one particular favourite of mine is Primula acaulis 'Everlast' with its prolific, and very pretty, lemon yellow flowers. It will keep producing these blooms through late winter and into spring. But, as I said, they're all lovely and there are so many to choose from, you're bound to find one to suit.

Remember the birds in your garden in the winter, especially when it's frosty. Keep water baths topped up, put out food for them and look out for nests when pruning.

JANUARY ON THE VEG PLOT

Whether you have an allotment, a veggie patch in your garden or just a few containers for growing your own, this can guide you through the edible gardening year.
Happy New Year! It's a good time of year to get your name down on your local allotment list. Rents are usually due now and some allotment holders may give up their plots, so more become available.

Anyway, look out for seed potatoes coming into the garden centres now. There are many varieties available; my favourite second early is Charlotte and main crop is Cara. I get good results from these tasty spuds. I have not yet found my best first early and try a new one each year, perhaps it will be the turn of Arran Pilot this time! Place the seed potatoes in a light, frost-free place, upright in an egg box or seed tray to sprout, known as chitting. Short dark sprouts will form, getting the potatoes off to a good start ready for planting out in March and April.

Clean and service your tools ready for the coming season. You'll then be ready for action, come the better weather.

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

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