Getting ready for Spring, Gardening Jobs for January
Every enthusiastic gardener is keenly aware that spring is the busiest season of the year. Regular maintenance chores of mowing and weeding are back on the agenda along with intense seed sowing and planting. However, there are plenty of tasks for January to ensure preparations are well under way for spring.
Thoroughly wash the panes of glass both inside and out to maximise the light levels in readiness for spring seedlings. Choose a mild, sunny winter’s day to ventilate the greenhouse while washing work benches, pots and seed trays in soapy water. Dispose of any over-wintering plants that may have succumbed to disease. However, don’t be tempted to disturb the clutter on the floor just yet as greenhouses are favourite hibernation places for frogs and toads.
Spend the worst of January’s weather choosing seeds for a colourful display in the coming months. Some of the slower growing annuals such as pelargoniums, snapdragons and verbena can be sown now. Sweet peas benefit from an early sowing in deep pots to allow strong root systems to develop. Vegetable seeds are sown in small quantities over several weeks to provide a regular supply of crops. Organise the seeds into the correct amounts for the weeks ahead to help speed up sowing.
Create a new planting plan for the vegetable patch taking care not to grow last year’s crops in the same position to reduce the risk of pests and to restore the nutrients of the soil. A simple plan replaces brassicas with roots which are in turn supplanted by fruiting vegetables.
- Brassicas – cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, sprouts
- Roots – carrots, parsnips, potatoes, swedes, turnips
- Other – peas, beans, courgettes, salads
If the weather is mild, spend an afternoon hoeing the borders to remove weeds that will otherwise flourish. Be careful not to damage the emerging shoots of spring bulbs such as daffodils and crocus. Deciduous hedges and trees can be safely trimmed at this time of year. Not only is it easier to see where the branches need to be thinned out but working now avoids disturbing nesting birds in the spring. If you are hoping to redesign your garden visit Garden Club London for expert advice.
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