The Gardener's Journal is a free monthly gardening guide delivered direct to your inbox.

Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Tuesday 8 January 2013

This Month in your Garden – January

How is the view from your window on the garden this January? Hopefully some hints and tips from the Gardener’s Journal have helped your design and efforts. 

Last year we began with digging and if the ground is not too hard or frozen it’s a good time to dig over the soil in the vegetable garden and to plant new fruit bushes, bare root roses, shrubs and hedging. 

Prepare ground to be planted with bedding plants by digging in a good load of manure. Of course, if it’s frosty, snowing or downright muddy, stay off the garden and lawn. 

How to prune – Winter pruning

If it’s a bit chilly out there pruning is a good winter warm up. Prune apple and pear trees and roses in pots. Cut dead wood right back to the healthy wood beneath. 

Damaged wood can lead to disease so cut branches and stems that have snapped back to a node or main stem. The same goes for diseased limbs. Where branches are crossing they can rub each other as the wind blows and that can lead to disease. Take each branch that is growing inwards the most and cut back to the main stem or trunk to give freedom to the other branches. 

Monday 7 January 2013

The Lawn Care Guide – January

There’s not a great deal to be done for the lawn in January but a few small jobs will help growth later, such as removing leaves and brushing out worm casts, so long as they are dry. 

Repairing and re-shaping lawn edges can be done but don’t walk on the grass when frozen or frosty.

Lawn Care Questions and Answers

Q. Every winter the grass from my lawn disappears and turns completely to mud. I seed it every spring and it always grows well and is lovely during the summer but as the winter goes on it slowly disappears again leaving us with mud at this time of year. Do you have any idea why this happens? Ms K. Collyer

The Vegetable Plot – January

It’s a good time to tidy up the vegetable plot and remove refuse to the compost heap or burn any contaminated material. 

Asparagus beds will benefit from some well-rotted farmyard manure or stable manure if you have it. 

If you have a warm greenhouse you can sow small salad crops in mid January and plant well sprouted potatoes in frames and pots under glass.

The Big Glut Recipe – January


  • 1 medium swede about 600g/1lb 6oz, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 500g/1lb 2oz parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 25g/1 oz butter and some extra
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • 200g/7oz fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 lightly beaten eggs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 thyme sprigs with leaves stripped