January Gardening Tips and Snips
Houseplant Check Up
Houseplants make great gifts and you may have received some over Christmas. You need to ensure your houseplants continue to give you the best displays by keep them away from radiators and checking regularly for water. All plants need watering, but often mixed arrangements are given as gifts which contain plants with differing needs so check these carefully to ensure you do not over or under water. Flowering houseplants should be picked over and any faded flowers removed to encourage new flowers to be produced. A liquid feed given every two weeks will help to encourage new growth and flowers and misting the foliage with water will help keep the leaves from browning at the tips.
Bring Life to Your Home
After the Christmas tree has been disposed of, your home can seem a little empty without the dash of greenery so January is an ideal time to fill the void with a large foliage houseplant such as a kentia palm or Dracena. Houseplants help to clean the air and are a relaxing influence in the home so why not treat your self today?
Spring is the time for flowering bulbs to start making an appearance. If you didn’t have chance to buy some spring flowering bulbs in the Autumn, then you will find many varieties are available now in pots which can be planted out straight away in pots, tubs or in a garden border. Spring bulbs such as snowdrops are often the first flowers to appear and are a welcome sign of the warmer weather to come and the nodding heads of large flowered daffodils look great planted in groups and bring a cheery dash of colour to your garden.
Planting Up Borders
Don’t forget your shrub borders during January as you can still plant container grown plants along with bare root plants if the weather is mild. Why not choose from the large range of winter interest plants such a winter flowering honeysuckle and winter jasmine?
Pots and Containers
Terracotta pots can be damaged by frost during the winter if they are allowed to become too wet, make sure that pots are lifted above the ground to drain by using upturned saucers or pot feet. If your plants have become pot bound you can always re-pot them at the end of the month or even plant them into the garden.
Plants of the Month
Although many of the showy plants and flowers are not looking their best at this time of year, there are still many plants which look good and can be planted now as long as the ground isn’t waterlogged or frozen. Plants with plenty of colour such as Mahonia Charity, winter flowering Jasmine are a blaze of colour whereas Lonicera winter beauty, Sarcococca and witch hazel have much smaller, but still interesting flowers and are ideal for being planted close to the house where they can be enjoyed.
Vegetables and Fruit
Mild days in January are ideal for getting out in the allotment. Well-rotted manure can be dug in now which will enrich the soil for planting later in the year. If you don’t have access to manure then start a compost bin and use kitchen and garden waste to create a great soil improver. Fruit trees can be planted in any size of garden with many trees grafted onto dwarfing root stock that are ideal for growing in large pots on the patio or maybe you fancy growing a peach tree against a warm south facing wall?
Many seed companies start to get busy now with people planning what to grow and where. Have a think about what worked well last year and ditch the poor performers for something new. If you like to save your own seeds, over the years you may find the plants are not growing as well as they used to, this is usually because the vigour has been lost from the seeds, so try buying a fresh pack and starting your crops again.