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Thursday 2 January 2020

This Month in Your Garden - January

"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in.  A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves."  -  Bill Vaughan, American author  

However you see in the New Year, climate change scientists are forecasting an average temperature of 3.9C for January to February in central England. But we gardeners are hardy and hardened to the pessimism of below-average temperatures and our famous talking point takes a back seat when it comes to the garden.

We’ll be out there winter pruning, cutting logs, planting fruit bushes (if the ground is not frozen) recycling the Christmas tree through a chipper shredder or garden centre, even planting bare root roses, shrubs, hedging and trees, if we feel so inclined. We could be off to the garden centre (with the Christmas tree) to pick up seed potatoes to chit in egg boxes and packets of veggie seeds in readiness for sowing.

Okay, so you’d rather be by the fireside with the seed catalogues whilst we’re still out there removing dead leaves from around the roses to help prevent black spot.  That’s alright too. The rhubarb is being forced, the greenhouse cleaned and prepared, the garden tractor, mower and power tools all serviced ready for spring. Sweet peas are sown, five to a pot, in a cold frame. Vacant plots are dug over, bird feeders filled and water is available. Tree ties and stakes are checked and a good, thick, dry mulch placed around the root area to help protect newly planted trees and shrubs. Now it’s time for hot soup and tea.

  • Check stored tubers: Begonias, Dahlias and Canna for rot or drying out
  • Plan vegetable rotations for the year
  • Prune deciduous trees and shrubs but not evergreens (wait ‘till spring)
  • Sow seeds of Begonia, Pelargonium and Lobelia in a heated frame or greenhouse
  • For winter colour visit the garden centre to see what’s available
  • Prune apple and pear trees
  • Sow native tree and shrub seed and alpines
  • Plant lily bulbs when the weather’s milder 

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