Monthly gardening tips: January

The weather in January can be very wet and cold, often making the ground conditions poor and unsuitable for doing much work in the garden. Gardeners can use the extra time to plan some changes and improvements to the garden. Weather permitting, work is focused on keeping garden areas tidy and if ground conditions are dry, some remedial works may be also possible.

  • As temperatures near freezing, leave out some food and water for the birds
  • Tidy planted borders and remove any fallen leaf or debris from lawn areas
  • If possible now is a very good time to do some winter digging and aerate lawn
  • Plant deciduous bare root trees and shrubs so long as ground is not too wet or frozen
  • Start winter pruning of hardy summer flowering shrubs and prune trees to shape
  • Plant up window boxes and containers with seasonal colour (e.g. winter flowering pansies, cyclamens, heathers)
  • Give lawn area a light mow (only during dry spells) to keep lawn looking neat
  • Check and secure all tree ties and shrub supports
  • Remove snow from trees and shrubs to prevent damage
  • Plants looking good now include the vibrant red and yellow colours of Cornus (Dogwoods) and heavenly scented flowers of Sarcococca hookeriana (Christmas Box), Hammelis mollis (Chinese Witch Hazel) and Skimmia japonica

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