How to maintain your garden in January.
If you are a Novice gardener and want a guide to assist with developing and maintaining your garden, then this series of guides have been designed to help you with just that.
This category of posts intends to provide you with a month-by-month checklist to ensure you keep on top of your garden so you can get the most out of it. We will start from January and cover each month through to December.
If you are starting a garden from scratch, it is best done as early as possible in the year so you can prep your garden before your first wave of planting begins in early spring/late winter.
Your garden in January
It’s a new year and a fresh start, and there is no time like January to start doing early prep work for your garden. It may seem like this is an impossible task in the winter months, but there are still plenty of jobs that can be done in the winter to make things easier for yourself later in the year.
Wildlife in your garden in January
How to keep your garden wildlife friendly in the bitter cold of January
Many birds remain active in the winter months, including January, so it is essential to keep feeding them and providing them with a freshwater source. If it’s a particularly harsh winter, think about feeding birds twice a day with high-fat Suet-based feeding balls. These particular balls help the birds maintain their fat reserves.
If you have bird boxes remove any old nesting material in January. Clean the bird boxes with boiling water to kill any dormant parasites before putting them back into position in the garden, also if it is cold, make sure they are dryish before placing them back outside, especially if they are made of wood, and the freezing of water may damage the boxes.
Ponds can look just as impressive in the winter as they do in the summer however they usually need the most care and attention in the winter to ensure your pond life stays healthy. If your pond freezes over, use warm water to create a hole in the centre of the pond. If you have goldfish or Koi in your pond, hold off feeding them until the water temperature rises consistently above 10 degrees celsius.
Taking Care of your Lawn in January
Obviously, there is not much you can do in regards to lawn maintenance. However, there are some really simple things you can do to ensure your lawn thrives through the coldest months.
Tip one is relatively simple – KEEP OFF THE GRASS!!
It’s best to avoid walking on the lawn for as long as you can, especially if you’re going to be walking the same route (such as going backwards and forward to the shed) over and over again. This is the same for dogs as well. Dogs are a creature of habit and will likely urinate in the same areas and create runs on garden parameters.
When grass is wet or frosty, it’s more likely to get damaged, and it won’t be able to repair itself until spring. If it’s not easy to keep off your grass, dig in some stepping stones to make an attractive walkway. Pace them out, so it’s easy for the little ones in the household to use also. For dogs, try cordoning off the parts of the lawn they repeatedly use and then alternate as a way of damage control.
Giving your lawn a boost
Spike your lawn with a garden fork or lawn aerator and sprinkle a very thin layer of sharp sand, then gently manipulate with a soft broom. This is a long-term exercise, but after a few years of repeating this, you will see a noticeable improvement in your lawn.
Taking Care of your Plants, Trees, Flowers, Shrubs, vegetables and Climbers in your garden in January
Trees & shrubs
There’s not much to do with Trees and shrubs in January. The main job is to keep snow off your evergreens and hedges just by brushing it away to avoid damage to branches. If you have Wisteria, you will need to prune these by removing half of last year’s growth with the aim of leaving three buds per stem.
You will also need to prune apple and pear trees in January. The method is simple just cut any shoot crossing over each other and anything that looks diseased, dead or dying. Trimming it back will result in higher quality fruit. If you have Prune and Cherry trees, don’t touch these until summer.
Flowers, Plants and Vegetables
Feel free to plant early flowers like snowdrops, as these will attract early bees and other pollinating insects. In January, you will need to buy potted snowdrops rather than planting bulbs.
Deadhead winter bedding plants like pansies and violas to encourage more flowers, also prune roses in January. Need some tools for pruning? Find them on the B&Q website.
In regards to vegetables, you need to pick any yellowing leaves from Brussel sprouts. Leeks can be left in the ground for when they are required. Protect your cabbages, kale and sprouts from hungry birds by placing plant netting over them.
General jobs to complete in your garden in January.
Number one is to keep your garden safe! Make sure you keep paths clear from debris and dead leaves to prevent slippery paths. Clear the gutters of your house and greenhouse. Keep your paths clear from ice by gritting them with the forecast is bleak. If you live in a particularly cold area, make sure you cover outdoor taps with an insulating tap cover.
Next is a good clean-up, especially if you have a greenhouse, as you’ll want to be prepared to grow next month. Clean the glass or polycarbonate, and if you have a heated greenhouse, give the thermostat a little boost to keep it frost free.
If you want to grow some houseplants, you may even use this time to get these started alongside tuberous begonias, pelargoniums and tender perennials.
Maintain your tools in January. This is a great time to clean, oil and sharpen the metal blades of garden tools and also service your mower and other machine tools. Just make sure you stick to the instructions.
What vegetables can you start planting in your garden in January?
Nothing can really go outside, but you can get some things started in a greenhouse or indoors.
The best things to get started in January are Chillies, Aubergines, Basil and Sweet Peas.
I hope you enjoyed our guide to your garden in January want to see what’s in store for February, click here