Despite the onset of winter, January can be a busy month for both the keen enthusiast or allotment gardener.
- Dig over the soil in any areas of the vegetable garden that you may not already have attended to
- Plant bare-root roses, trees, shrubs and hedging providing the ground is not excessively dry or frozen. In the event of the conditions being unsuitable for planting directly in to the garden, plant in containers in moist compost ensuring they do not dry out and plant in the garden as soon as conditions allow.
- This is a good month to prune apple and pear trees.
- Remember to regularly put out food and water for wild birds.
- It would be advisable to use a gritty sand rather than salt on icy paths to avoid damage to your plants.
- Remove and destroy dead leaves from around roses to control black spot and give your compost heap a good turn over to encourage the rotting process.
- Move dormant plants that need to be resited to a more suitable site.
- Press mistletoe berries into the bark of apple trees to establish your own mistletoe plants.
- Plant in the green flower bulbs, only cover the bulb and the white part of the growing stem.
- Deadhead winter pansies and other winter bedding regularly, remove foliage that is affected by downy mildew.
- Make sure everything is sanitised and in good working order.
- Check plants for pests and disease and treat promptly.
- On warm days ventilate both the greenhouse and cold frames and finally prepare areas for seed sowing.
- Collect any egg boxes to chit potatoes in (start shooting).
- Order bulbs, seeds and seed potatoes.
- Plan your garden displays for early Spring plantings.