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Tuesday 3 January 2012

This Month in your Garden - JANUARY

January is the time to start sowing seeds indoors
Topically, as we move from December into January, the importance of good garden design is clearly evident. It’s mid winter and there’s less to do in the garden. Or so we thought...

A look through the window at bare twigs and rotting brown vegetation in herbaceous borders on a cold winter’s day might suggest staying by the fire, turning the pages of the new season’s catalogues, perhaps checking notes from past seasons if the garden is maturing. Good and necessary to do but what about next year at this time? Will it be the same view out there or one to be admired?

It’s early January and priority jobs include continuing any digging and trenching left over from  December – keeps you warm as well as being good exercise! Clean and disinfect the greenhouse if it’s not already been done in late autumn. Order seeds from the catalogue or pick them up from the garden centre. Buy new compost as well. Plenty to do, plenty to grow indoors, or in a heated greenhouse or frame. 

Here are some tips:
  • Sow/start indoors annuals and bedding plants in modules. Start geraniums and pelargoniums, not the border variety, or order plug plants to grow on. Sow busy lizzies, salvia, petunias, lobelia
  • Start sweet peas from seed if not already started in autumn – soak overnight if required
  • Buy seed potatoes – early varieties could be ready 8-10 weeks after planting. Try some older varieties like ‘Arran Pilot’ and ‘chit’ them indoors to start them off
  • Pot Lilly bulbs
  • Take root cuttings of border perennials such as Japanese anemones to multiply for planting out in spring
  • Sow alpines
  • Check young trees and their stakes and make sure all plant protection is secure and protect fruit trees from birds
  • Weed – pull out chickweed and groundsel
  • Bring potted shrubs into the warmth of greenhouse or conservatory – Deautzias, Azaleas and Roses for example, to protect them
  • Prune late vines

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