A new year and new beginnings, whatever is going on in the wider world the garden is constant joy as it changes through the year. Working in the vegetable garden or on the allotment gives a huge uplift to the spirit especially as you gather in the crops you have grown. Get your children involved in the garden by giving them a small area to tend and pass on your enthusiasm for gardening.
January is a good time to take stock of the garden and make plans for the coming year. Keeping a diary of the successes and failures in the garden is a great idea to so that you avoid repeating the mistakes you made in the garden, and more to the point develop on your successes. Use it to record sowing dates, varieties used and harvest dates. Use it too to make notes of your friends gardening successes or things you see when you visit gardens. If you like visiting gardens have a look at the National Garden Scheme website . Across the UK gardens of all shapes and sizes open to the public for charity under the NGS banner.
The end of January sees the arrival of seed potatoes. The range of varieties can seem daunting – but don’t be afraid to ask for help.
January can see the pesky pigeon eating the leaves of cabbages, sprouts and sprouting broccoli. To protect the place netting strung tautly over the top of the crops and down the sides.
Start to prepare Rhubarb for forcing. Select a root or two of rhubarb and add a mulch layer of material from your compost heap to around 15cm (6”) deep. Top off with a rhubarb forcer, buckets or large pots to help force some early stems that will come through pink and tender.
Other things to do in the garden this month
- Prune Apples, Pears, Currants and Gooseberries.
- Cover beds with cloches or polythene to warm the soil ready for early sowing.
- Sow early veg under cover: for example, Leeks, Onions , Strawberries, Tomatoes and Broad Beans.
- Take root cuttings from perennials including oriental poppies, pulsatilla and echinops.
- Keep a check on newly planted roses and shrubs.
- Put out food and water for wild birds.
- Aerate lawn taking care not to stand on waterlogged areas.
- Keep plants in containers protected from frost and check weekly to see whether they need watering.
- Feed established trees in late January with Growmore Garden Fertiliser.