Robin in winter

Gardening advice for January

By Paul Hervey-Brookes, January 11

Gardening advice for January

Garden tools outside shedFrost, gale force wind and heavy rain. These are common in January making it the coldest month of the year. However, on the days where the sun appears and it is crisp and dry, you can get out in the garden and give it a once over.

Food is scarce at this time of year so ensure you put out ample food for the birds.

Outside jobs to concentrate on are checking that plant supports are not damaged and any fleece covers are still firmly in place and not damaged. If fences and sheds need treatment now is the time to paint and spray them. Garden furniture needs to be checked and treated also.

Check your garden tools and make sure they are cleaned and repaired ready for the new season and also that your lawnmower is booked in for a service.

Soil can be dug over, lots of organic matter dug in and any exposed pests will provide extra food for the birds. Whilst doing this any lingering weeds can be got rid of before they leap back into life in the spring.

Potted sweet peas germinatingSweet peas can be started off on the windowsill or in heated propagator along with slow growers such as Lobelia and Begonia. Once germinated these plants can be put out into cold frames or greenhouses (give these a good clean before use).

Bare root roses can be planted now and root cuttings can be taken from perennials. Check newly planted shrubs and roses to ensure they are still firmly in place.

While frosts are still prevalent make sure your containers are well protected either with fleece or by moving into the shelter of walls and raise them so they do not get water logged.

Planning for the new season can be done now. Crop rotation and new flower beds, seeds and bulbs will fill a few hours as you look out over the garden from an armchair with a well deserved cup of tea.


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

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