Timely Tips for January

January is a time for fresh starts, renewed energy, and organisation for the year ahead.

Jobs in the garden this month are mostly about keeping things tidy, and getting ready for spring. If you’re itching to get growing, there are a few things you can do besides the obvious planting bare root roses, chitting first early spuds and starting off your sweet peas.

Put your New-Year enthusiasm to good use and kick start your 2020 gardening with these easy tasks:

  1. Begin with cleaning pots, tools, water butts and greenhouses. It will set you up for a great growing season.
  2. Start planning what you want to do with your garden in the months to come. Now is the time to order seeds and plants.
  3. Check  for any damages to your winter protection – survey any stakes, supports and ties that might have been affected by bad weather.
  4. Continue to care for wildlife – put out food for hungry birds such as fat balls, and leave some areas of your garden uncut for shelter until the spring.

Here are your main tasks to do in the flower garden this month:

  • Prune your wisteria – cut back summer side shoots to 2 or 3 buds.
  • Prune rose bushes –January is the perfect time to do this as roses are still dormant. Cut back to just above a bud and remove any crossing or dead branches.
  • Tidy up perennials. Cut down the old stems of perennial plants like sedum– be careful of any new growth.
  • Cut back willows. Trim the damaged, diseased and the oldest stems of brightly coloured willows, and thin out overcrowded stems.
  • Deadhead winter pansies. Remove any faded flowers from your winter pansies to stop them setting seed.

Vegetable Garden

  • Harvest parsnips and leeks.
  • Protect potato grow bags with horticultural fleece on cold nights .
  • Remove yellowing leaves from winter brassicas.
  • Prepare the ground for early peas. Place a cloche over the soil this month, to help warm up the ground for a few weeks before sowing.

Fruit Garden

  • Begin pruning apple and pear trees –it’s best done while the plants are still dormant.
  • Prune blackcurrants, gooseberries and red-currants to maintain a productive framework.
  • Order fruit bushes, such as currants, now and plant in a well-prepared bed in a sheltered position.


Other jobs

  • Remove any weeds from border
  • Remove heavy snow from greenhouses and cold frames.
  • Brush heavy snow off hedges and conifers to prevent the branches from snapping.
  • Remove slimy patches from patios and paving– scrub with a broom or blast with a pressure washer.
  • Move potato planters inside as frosts will kill the foliage.
  • Hydrate indoor plants. Central heating can dry the air in your home and cause damage to indoor plants. Mist house plants regularly and stand them on a tray of pebbles filled with water to increase humidity.