What to do Now / January

Gardening Advice

What to do Now / January

  • Plant bare-root roses, shrubs, hedging and ornamental trees, as long as the ground is not frozen
  • Take root cuttings of fleshy-rooted perennials such as oriental poppies, acanthus and verbascums
  • Establish new colonies of snowdrops and hellebores by buying plants in flower, so you can choose the prettiest blooms
  • Clear away soggy, collapsed stems of perennials and compost them
  • Take hardwood cuttings from deciduous shrubs, such as forsythia, willow and viburnum
  • Winter prune apple and pear trees to remove any dead, damaged, congested and diseased branches
  • Sort out your seeds, throwing away empty or out-of-date packets and noting down any to buy for the coming season
  • Plan this year's crop rotation to ensure you grow each type of crop in a different bed to previous years
  • Prune gooseberries and redcurrants, cutting sideshoots back to three buds from their base
  • Clear old crops and weeds from the veg plot, then dig over the soil, mixing in compost as you go
  • Sow winter salads in a greenhouse, conservatory or on a sunny windowsill, for harvests within a few weeks
  • Tidy up the greenhouse, getting rid of any broken pots, old compost or debris that could hide unwanted visitors
  • Move potted strawberry plants under cover to encourage early fruiting
  • Check overwintering plants regularly for aphids, mealy bugs and other pests, and take action where necessary
  • Bring potted peaches into the greenhouse to avoid leaf curl disease
  • Top up bird baths with fresh water daily and melt ice with warm water on frosty days
  • Repair wobbly or damaged fences, and treat wooden structures with preservative during dry spells
  • Give your lawn mower a basic service or take it to a dealer for maintenance, while it's not in use
  • Put up bird boxes in sheltered spots, on tree trunks, sheds or walls, well before the nesting season begins
  • Clean and sharpen your tools, including hoes, secateurs and shears, and spray metal tools with oil
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