Gardening – Jan 23

House & Home

Tom Strowlger


January brings us gardeners much anticipation of what our gardening journey will be in the year to come. Although the excesses of the festive period fade into distant memory winter remains with us. We should try and get into the garden on bright, dry and crisp winter days as fresh air and exercise will do us the world of good. We can wrap ourselves up and venture outdoors to get started on the 2023 gardening calendar.

January is the mid-month of meteorological winter and the garden is in a state of cold and frosty dormancy. But that should not stop us gardeners. We can achieve quite a lot this month in readiness for springtime. A good place to start is the disposal of our real Christmas tree. To be kind to the environment we should cut and shred it into bark compost and mulch, to be used on our borders and beds.

The weather in January is usually harsh, with hard frosts, snow and stormy conditions hitting the garden. It is important that we secure and stake plants and shrubs and tie in any loose climbers to the wall, fence, trellis or archway frame. If we allow snow to build up on shrubs and plants it can damage the branches, leaves and new buds, we should use a soft broom to gently brush it off. 

Wisteria, rhododendron, rose bushes, apple and pear trees to name but a few can be carefully pruned whilst they sit dormant. The art of pruning is to step back from the plant to assess whether you want to soft or hard prune, to consider the shape you wish to achieve. It is best to take your time when pruning as a branch can only be cut once.   

The soil in our gardens is generally very moist and perhaps even muddy at this time of year so we can lift soil and weeds with relative ease meaning our gardens will move into springtime with less invasive weeds taking hold. Whilst tidying weeds up, we can deadhead winter cyclamen and pansies to keep them looking fresh and tidy. 

So let’s turn any January blues green by getting into gardens and outdoor spaces, amongst the white snowdrops, yellow winter aconites and very early Dutch irises. The sight of these little flowers will give us the skip in our step to get excited about other early flowering bulbs and what we want to achieve in our gardens in 2023. 

Please do follow me on Instagram @garden_with_tom for more seasonal gardening advice and tips.


Dig over any bare borders and beds to allow the soil to breathe

Keep the birds happy with some high energy bird food and unfrozen water

Clear up any remaining fallen leaves from lawns

Clean your empty flower pots and tubs ready for the new planting season

Try to keep off your frozen lawn, footsteps can snap and kill your grass