Juanita and Mike’s January
It’s cold, it’s damp and it gets dark early. Urgh! Why would we be in the garden? Actually there are things we can do and things we can prepare for the new year.
Amongst the most attractive jobs are continuing to feed and water the birds so they are fit for the coming spring. Also check and put up new nest boxes. There is nothing nicer than listening to a newly fledged family of bluetits in the hedge on a summer’s day.
It’s also time to dig out the forcing pot for the garden rhubarb. The allotment rhubarb will follow later but long sticks of new season’s rhubarb are not only beautiful they are also delicious.
Outside, the hellebores need checking for the evil “black spot” and dead leaves; both need binning. It’s a good time to plant new hellebores and snowdrops in the green ie as plants. Snowdrops in January under deciduous trees are a delightful sight and a promise of things to come.
Many wrongly placed plants can also be moved this month, if there’s no frost; plants such as our peony which puts up plenty of leaves but no flowers. The suspicion is that it’s planted too deep.
Less attractive jobs include sorting the pots; where do they all come from? Recycle any you can and see if those who grow for the AGC plant sale need any additions. The greenhouse also needs a bug out; evict unwanted winter residents, cobwebs and last year’s detritus and give it a good scrub, ideally with Jeyes Fluid. Also, check over wintering plants to ensure they haven’t completely dried out.
We’re always running late so we end doing the pruning of our fruit trees and bushes in January though more organised gardeners have probably got them under control before Christmas.
Finally, there’s the lawn! If it’s frozen, leave it be but if, like ours, it aspires to be a wetland, spike it with a garden fork and fill the holes with a mix of sand/ grit and loam. Ours is probably beyond redemption but it’s always worth a try.
If all else fails there are always the seed catalogues and the seed drawer. How do so many seeds escape to the bottom of the box?
Roll on Spring!
Juanita and Mike Mann
Things to do in January