Gardening in January
There is always something to be done in the garden, from brushing the leaves off the lawn to laying new grass seed, but when is the right time of year to be carrying these jobs out...
Things to do this month
Make the most of mild days to get outdoors and enjoy being outside in your garden.
Walk your garden to see which plants are in flower - there are often some surprises!
Insulate outdoor containers from frost - bubblewrap works well.
Raise containers onto pot feet to prevent waterlogging if you haven't already done it.
Start buying seeds for sowing this year, so you can plan this year’s displays.
Use a wooden plank if you need to walk on heavy clay soils when they’re wet or frozen to help spread your weight.
Keep deadheading winter-flowering pansies to ensure they flower during mild weather.
Finish digging over the soil in the vegetable patch if you garden on heavy clay soil.
Keep feeding wild birds with high-energy bird foods to keep up their strength through the winter.
Make sure wild birds have access to unfrozen water to drink and bathe in.
Don’t forget to take part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch at the end of the month.
You can still move deciduous small trees, shrubs and climbers growing in the wrong place.
Check your mower blade and either replace it with a new one or have it sharpened.
You can prune established, free-standing apple and pear trees, but only if they need it.
Continue to brush heavy snow off the branches of conifers and other evergreens to stop it damaging the branches.
Clean old pots and seed trays, so that they’re ready for seed sowing in spring.
Take root cuttings of Acanthus, Anemone hybrida, Eryngium, Oriental poppies and Verbascum.
Plant new hardy trees, shrubs, climbers, roses and herbaceous providing the soil isn’t frozen solid or waterlogged.
If you want an early crop of strawberries, place cloches over the plants.
Sow onion seeds in a heated propagator for an early crop.
Start chitting seed potatoes of earlies to produce a bigger, better crop.
Make a bean trench and fill it with kitchen vegetable waste, torn up newspaper, weeds and similar materials.
Give wisterias their winter prune - cutting back sideshoots to 2.5-5cm (1-2in) long.
Melt an area of ice on frozen ponds to allow fish to breathe.
Pests & Disease
Cover brassicas with netting if pigeons are a problem.
On mild days, treat fences and other wooden structures with a wood preservative.
Cover wall-trained peaches with a ‘tent’ of polythene to protect against peach leaf curl disease.
Stay off the lawn when it’s frozen or you could damage the grass and leave brown footprint marks.
You can mow the lawn if the grass is growing and it’s dry.
Cut lawn edges to make them neat and crispen their appearance.
Use a weed-control membrane when planting up new beds to help keep them weed free.