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January

The days, although short and cold, are beginning to lengthen and the promise of spring is beginning to show with the emergence of early flowering plants such as Snowdrops.

Borders

  • Continue to tidy beds and borders and then mulch with compost, well-rotted manure or bark and apply a slow release fertiliser such as bonemeal.
  • Continue to prune out dead, damaged, or diseased branches from established trees and shrubs in frost-free weather.
  • Continue to firm in the roots of trees and shrubs that are lifted by frost.
  • Remove snow from evergreen trees and shrubs to prevent branches being snapped.

Bedding Plants

  • Now's a good time to decide on the plants you'd like to plant for summer colour.
  • Look back over the successes from last year and decide what didn't work so well that could be improved for this year.

Containers

  • Check the fixings on hanging baskets to make sure they are secure.

Lawns

  • If not already done, clean and overhaul any machinery, oiling parts and storing under cover.
  • Choose different paths when crossing the lawn, as continually following the same route will cause compaction.
  • Avoid walking on your lawn when it is frosty, as this will cause damage.

Fruit

  • Continue to plant new fruit trees and bushes providing the ground is not frozen or too wet.
  • Continue to prune Apple and Pear trees.
  • Check and firm in all newly planted fruit trees and bushes.
  • Check the stakes on fruit trees, and tighten or loosen them as necessary, replacing any that are broken.

The Vegetable Garden

  • Select the varieties you intend to grow during the year and order seed or baby plants.
  • Continue to dig over vacant ground and dig in well-rotted manure or compost providing the ground is not too wet or frozen.
  • Towards the end of the month consider putting up plastic cloches to warm the soil before planting early crops.
  • If not already ordered, buy and store seed potatoes in a dark place.

The Greenhouse

  • Do not water plants too much - only when the compost is dry.
  • Check plants regularly for pests and disease i.e. moulds and fungus.
  • Ventilate only on warm days.
  • Start to heat greenhouses that have peaches and vines in them.
  • Prune Grape vines now before the sap rises.

Ponds

  • Keep an area of the pond free of ice to help fish to breathe.

General Tasks

  • Provide food and water for garden birds.
  • Clean and oil all garden tools.
  • Check Dahlia tubers, Gladioli and Begonia corms that are being stored and remove any that are rotting.
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