Seasonal gardening advice: January

By Paul Hervey-Brookes

Nature doesn't move very fast in January so this month you can get ahead.

Most plants that have not already been cut back can be done now but you may like to leave the ornamental grasses with their glorious plumes to glint in the frost and also continue to feed the birds. If you have evergreen grasses remove any dead grass to encourage new growth.

Remember to keep ponds ice-free. Try not to smash the ice as this can distress fish. Much better to pour hot water on until the ice melts.
Paul Hervey-Brookes

Birds need to continue to be fed. Involve the whole family and make your own bird feeders from seeds and lard as well as keeping feeders topped up.

Rhubarb can still be planted out and if necessary this can be continued until March. If the weather is mild roses can be planted along with any bare-rooted shrubs and trees that you wish to grow.

Dig over your borders and beds to allow the frost to break down the soil and, whilst doing this, dig in plenty of compost or manure to enrich the soil.

In the greenhouse check that your pots are clean ready for planting, tubers that you have stored are not rotten or drying out and ensure that the greenhouse itself is ready for spring. Now is a good time to make sure your tools are clean and repaired too.

Repairing the lawn can be done now. Cut and peel back the grass from hollows and fill with loam, relay the turf and pinch edges together. Flower bed edges can be repaired with turves cut from other areas. If worm casts appear, brush them away regularly as they can become troublesome.

Remove algae from paths as they become slippery. A stiff broom will clear most. Try not to use salt as it can leak into borders and damage plants.

Meet the author

Paul Hervey-Brookes

Paul had his own highly successful landscape design business, and has also designed a range of gardening gifts for Marks & Spencers.

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