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Gardening Tips for January

9th January

A new year brings new beginnings. January can be quiet in the garden, but there is plenty of opportunity to prepare for the coming growing season. This month can be much more than just waiting for spring, discover 7 gardening tips for January below!

 1.Garden Planning and Design

Although it can be difficult to satisfy your green finger urges at this time of year, the new year is the perfect time to begin planning your garden for the upcoming growing season. Begin by sketching out your garden layout or use a free template online. Take the time to consider what was growing in the space the previous year, soil type, sunlight and water access. Growing conditions can be very different in a north-facing garden. Next, begin to add plants you would like to grow in the space using resources such as Pinterest and the seeds you already have as inspiration. Once your plan is complete you can finally move on to ordering new seeds. Garden planning is the time to let your imagination run wild so that you can craft a garden that reflects your vision and style. 

2.What to sow

While we encourage you to try your best to wait until the weather warms up and things are generally drier before getting to work outdoors, in the meantime, here are some seeds to sow indoors.

-Sweet peas
-Broad beans
-Winter salad leaves

3. Pruning and Cleanup

Winter is the time for pruning trees and shrubs. In January plants lay dormant, meaning pruning at this time minimises stress and promotes spring growth. Ensure sharp, clean tools are used when pruning to reduce the risk of spreading disease. Spring-flowering shrubs may not need to be pruned if they set their buds the previous year. Clean up any leftover debris from the previous season to prevent diseases and pests.

4. Preparing soil and beds

Prepare your garden beds by removing weeds and adding nutrients back into the soil. By enriching soil you will be providing vital nutrients for your plants. This can be done using shop-bought or homemade compost, manure or a soil fertility activator. Ensure any manure used in this way is composted before use as, fresh compost can be too strong to use directly on plants. A soil fertility activator, such as Activearth, is a great way to improve the quality of soil, especially in spaces with clay soil or that are particularly compacted. The activator will encourage earthworms and increase aeration and drainage in the soil.

5.Protecting plants from frost

Frost can damage tender plants. Consider moving plants indoors if possible. Alternatively, look at covering plants at night using cloches, fleece or mulch to protect vulnerable plants from frost and harsh winter conditions. This should also be done in a greenhouse if it is unheated. Pay particular attention to new plantings and evergreens. It is important to be aware of your local weather forecast and prepare in advance for any predicted frosts.

6. Caring for wildlife

Your garden can be a haven for wildlife during the cold months. Consider setting up bird feeders and water sources. Use a variety of seeds, millet and suet to attract different bird species. Ensure you regularly check that any water sources are not frozen. Also, leave some garden areas wild to provide shelter for insects and small animals. Add shelters for wildlife such as hedgehogs and bats.

7.Compost maintenance

Keep the compost heap healthy by adding a mix of carbon and nitrogen ingredients. Make use of cardboard and paper packaging used for gifts over the holiday season to balance out the wet ingredients that might have taken over during the transition to autumn/winter. Continue to turn and aerate the compost to encourage biological activity or take it a step further and give it a boost with Compost Accelerator.

January in the UK garden is far from dormant. It’s a month of preparation, protection, and even some unexpected pleasures. By engaging in these activities, you’re not just passing time until spring; you’re actively enriching and enlivening your garden in ways that will pay dividends throughout the year.

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