Plants to start growing in January
Gardening advice for January
It can be very tempting just to leave your garden alone in January, forgetting about it until the longer, warmer days finally kick in, but for keen gardeners January can be a time to prepare for the Spring and Summer months.
A little bit of winter planning can get your garden ready for a great year ahead. It is a great time to have a good clean up and clear out. Check your garden furniture and structures for any damage from the winter weather and strong winds that battered the country in the last few weeks, removing the dirt, fallen branches, moss and leaves.
All ties and stakes on shrubs should be checked and replaced if necessary and dead branches should be removed. Wind damage is one of the biggest factors in plant loss at this time of year.
It is a great time to weed and have a tidy up of your boarders and pots, though take care to not damage and plants and bulbs. If you don’t have a compost heap or bin, this is as good a time as any to start one, it is awn excellent way to dispose of the leaves and cuttings.
We would advise staying off your lawn as much as possible and to ensure adequate drainage is in place. If you do need to go on it use boards to minimise the damage.
If there are any severe frosts, you should check on newly planted perennials and biennials and firm them back in.
January is a the time for any of those projects you have put off or meant to start this year, giving yourself time to start the work before the young and vulnerable first shoots start to spring up. It is the perfect time for tidying up, reshaping boarders and creating features to enhance your garden. We have a fantastic range of patio circles available in store that bringing a decorative touch to a patio or garden. Create your very own little oasis in your garden, somewhere to relax, sunbath or enjoy a glass of wine as the sunsets. You can also read our handy guide on Laying a Patio Circle here.
If you do not already have a bird table or feeding station it is a great time to install one. The birds will flock to your garden to fuel up for the cold nights in the bracing Winter weather. You could even take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, from 28-30 January. Be part of the world’s largest wildlife survey, for more details visit rspb.org.uk.
In terms of planting January can be a good time to get a head start so you can make the most out of the years growth. You need to take care to protect plants using covers and cloches where required. Finding sheltered, well drained and sunny spots is crucial if planting directly outside. Many plants benefit from being started off indoors or in a greenhouse.
In terms of flowers if you are growing from seed we recommend starting indoors/greenhouses for the following:
- Sowing Geranium, Begonia, Dianthus – as they are slower to flower if from seed
- Pansies – although many can survive Winter outdoor they are great to start off indoor for bold, colourful Summer displays
- Sweet Peas – they benefit from early planting with a little heat now
Vegetables benefit from an early start indoors/greenhouses:
- Herbs will grow easily on windowsills and in greenhouses
- Salad leaves, Lettuces, Summer Brassicas, Spinach and Chard all grow well in bright indoors settings and provide an early tasty crop
- Start chatting first early potatoes on a windowsill, egg boxes work well providing insulation
- Leeks, Celery and Onions can be sown from seed in a heated propagator, giving plenty of time to develop
- Sow broad beans in pots, placing them in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse
- Plant bare-root trees and bushes, as long as the soil is not frozen
- Apply winter washes to fruit trees and bushes
- Apply a top dressing of sulphate of potash to all fruits and nuts
Try growing Strawberry Plants in cold frames or under cloches. By growing under cover you get a early crop for the Summer. Certain varieties of hardy Broad Bean will grow well as long as the ground is not frozen.
A splash of colour will always relive the dark and dreary winter weather. Choosing plants that have foliage and flowers will make the cold and dark seem far more bearable. Primroses, violas and wallflowers are the real stock in trade for Winter plants, in addition to the old traditional stand-bys of pansies and polyanthus. These last two are some of the most weather-resistant blooms available and can grow up to eight or nine inches in height.
Watering is vital. Both under watering or over watering can cause dire problems in the winter. Just raise the plants or plant containers above the ground. In patio circles this can be achieved by placing a few bricks under the plants to help with drainage.
As the days get longer and longer at the end on January, you may see the first snowdrops appearing, letting you know that Spring will soon be on its way.
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