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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 3 January 2017

This Month in your Garden - January

"January brings the snow, makes our feet
and fingers glow.”

Sarah Coleridge

That may well be the case for some of us but much of the country has been uncommonly mild. Welcome to the New Year and if, like us, you’re in an area where you haven’t seen a single flake of snow you may well be looking on the garden and thinking: I could be out there doing things. You could be warming up with a bit of pruning you didn’t get done before Christmas. Pear and apple trees will appreciate weak branches and dead wood being cut back and thick growth, tangled in the centre of a shrub or tree, once removed will get the air circulating. You can prune late vines but not apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches or figs.

Lawn Care Guide

The Lawn in Winter

The immediate advice is: if it’s frosty, snowy or just downright wet, stay off the lawn if you can, it will only suffer underfoot. Walking on the lawn when it’s frosty causes ‘frost burn’ as your footprint damages the cells of the frozen grass, leaving blackened impressions. If you have to reach an area where you feed the birds for example, try and work out the least damaging route as you make a mental note it would be an idea to lay stepping stones for next winter. You did already? Clever you.

Lawn Care: Questions and Answers

Q. I have to let my dog out onto the lawn to do his thing but I’m worried his urine is damaging the grass, what can I do?

The Vegetable Plot - January

Chitty, chitty bangers and mash 

Good old British weather permitting, digging over any plots that haven’t been dug is a useful start to the year, harvesting any leeks and parsnips you have grown as you go. If you like to have home grown lettuce in the winter months you can sow every two weeks in succession, indoors or in a heated greenhouse or frame at about 13°C (55°F). You can do the same for early cabbage, cauliflower, mustard and cress. For early peas, place a cloche over the growing area on your plot for a few weeks to let the soil warm before sowing.

The Big Glut Recipe - January

Butternut Squash Cottage Pie

Described by House & Garden from where the recipe emanates as ‘comfort food without the calories’. Not a bad idea after all that Christmas fare.


For the topping:

  • 1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled and the seeds removed
  • 30g (1oz) butter
  • Pinch of ground ginger