January brings us gardeners much anticipation as we wave goodbye to Christmastime and say hello to the start of a new gardening year. The need to get fresh air outside on bright, cold, crisp winter days and exercise will do us the world of good after the recent festivities. We must wrap ourselves up and venture outdoors to get the gardening calendar of 2022 underway.
It’s the middle of winter and we may wonder what the garden will need from us whilst in a state of white dormancy, in fact we can achieve quite a lot this month to set us up nicely for the year ahead. A good place to start is the relict of Christmastime, the real Christmas tree. We can be kind to the environment by cutting and shredding it for composting ready to use on borders and beds later this year.
The weather at this time of year can be very harsh, with hard frosts, snow and stormy conditions hitting the garden, so it is very important we check that our plants and shrubs are securely staked out and climbers are attached to the wall, fence, trellis or archway frame. If heavy snow builds up on shrubs and plants it can damage both the branches, leaves and new buds, be sure to use a soft broom to gently brush the snow off.
The 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, consider the desired shape and to take your time whilst doing to job. It is best to take pruning a little bit at a time as a branch can only be cut once.
If we spot any weeds we should lift them and their roots before they become established. Soil is generally moist at this time of year so we can lift weeds with relative ease meaning our gardens will move into springtime with less invasive weeds taking hold for the remainder of the year. Whilst tidying weeds up, consider deadheading winter cyclamen and pansies to keep them looking fresh and tidy.
Our garden doesn’t need watering at this time of year as the weather will do it for us, however we must not forget to water our indoor plants as household heating dries the air and makes plants very thirsty, we wouldn’t want them to wither and die. So once we have watered the indoor plants let’s get our thick coats and wellies on and step into the garden.
Please do follow me on Instagram @garden_with_tom for more seasonal gardening advice and tips.
This month’s top tips:
Dig over any bare borders to allow the soil to breathe
Keep the birds happy with some high energy bird food
Clear up any remaining fallen leaves
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