It may not seem like the perfect month for it – but if you want to get out in your garden this month, there will be plenty to keep you busy!
This month we always expect lots of rain, ice and maybe some more snow. Sometimes the time we get to spend in the garden is very few and far between – dodging the showers, or only staying out as long as our freezing hands can stand it! Around here in Lowton and Golborne, where many gardens are on heavy clay soil, too much rain makes it almost impossible to do too much.
But, don’t forget – Spring is less than three months away, and although your garden appears to be dormant, there’s probably a lot going on that you can’t see right now!
Your spring bulbs will be starting to show soon – if they’re not already. In our garden we can see lots of green shoots of what will soon become daffodils, irises, muscari, even tulips. Don’t worry if they seem to be emerging too quickly, nature knows what it’s doing.
Here are a few ideas for getting out in the garden this January
Show off your Hellebores
If you have these winter flowering plants in your garden, make the most of them. Remove any leaves which are obscuring your view of the flowers – and also carefully dispose of any leaves on the plants which appear to have ‘blackspot’ (a patchy black discolouration of the leaf).
You can actually remove almost all the leaves from a Hellebore and it will still survive. And your flowers will look all the more eye catching, too.
It’s not too early to sow seedlings – if you have somewhere to keep them
It is possible to get a head start on sowing some of your seeds for this year. But you will often need somewhere warm and bright to germinate them. A windowsill would be ideal for some types of seeds – others will survive outdoors, as long as they’re under cover.
You could try sowing some sweet peas now for a head start on a really good display this summer. If you’re thinking about growing your own you can even start off veg like leeks, onions, carrots, broad beans, hardy peas and spinach around now. January is also a great time to begin sowing chilli seeds, which need a long growing season in order to fruit well.
Prune back wisteria
If you are lucky enough to have wisteria in your garden and you want to cut it back a little, January is a good time to do so. You should aim to cut back any summer side shoots to just two or three buds.
Deadhead your winter flowers to keep them looking lovely all season
Take off the spent flowers from winter bedding favourites like primroses, violets and pansies and they’ll keep giving you fresh blooms well into spring.
Ease the strain on your plants when it snows
If we get another generous covering of snow, just check on your shrubs and other plants. Shake off the snow to reduce the strain – snow can be incredibly heavy, especially if left to freeze. Otherwise, once its thawed you might find snapped or squashed plants underneath!
Jet wash patios to clear away slippery patches
This is a good job to do out in the garden early in the year. You can scrub your patio with a stiff broom or blast with a pressure washer. And if you don’t want to do it yourself, there’s plenty of local gardening businesses who can help you, such as Golborne based Liberty Outdoor Maintenance, one of our Featured Businesses. Have a look in our local directory to find out who can help.
About the author:
My name is Gemma. I’m the editor of Lowton & Golborne News and a very keen but amateur gardener. I mainly enjoy growing flowers in my small garden in Lowton, but last year, for the first time, I grew some veggies too – all in containers. You can follow my garden on Instagram @gandtgarden.
Have you seen our Winter Photo Challenge?
We’ve had some lovely photos sent in from people in Lowton & Golborne capturing the season – have a look at a selection of the best here!
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