Posted 5th January
January will bring us the shortest and coldest days of the year, offering the perfect excuse for curling up in front of the fire with your iPad and make your plans for the gardening year to come
On dry, sunny days, you will be able to escape into the garden, making a head start on jobs in readiness for those lengthening days of early spring.
To help you, Dobbies Garden Centres have some expert advice on why January is the ideal time to plan for the gardening year to come...
- Pot up Amaryllis bulbs. Bring them to an active growth by regularly watering them, so they’re ready to put on a fabulous display of flower in early spring.
- Once the decorations come down, the house can look a bit bare. Therefore, visit your local garden centre to choose a new season houseplant to revitalise your home.
- Start thinking about your bedding displays for the coming summer. The most economical way is to grow your own plants from young plugs. Immediately plant them immediately in small pots to grow and let them grow in a warm frost-free greenhouse or conservatory. If you have spare plugs left over, these can always be shared with friends or gardening clubs.
- Summer Flowering Bulbs should be available in store now. They're easy to grow and provide rewarding results for very little effort. On mild days, you should plant Lily bulbs in pots to fill your patio with their heady fragrance.
Beds and borders
- If you purchased a pot grown Christmas tree this year, with the aim of growing it on, the best chance is to transplant it into the garden as soon as possible following the festivities. Just water it regularly until it's established.
- On frost free days, take the chance to prune deciduous trees and shrubs to create the desired shape and framework for the seasons to come.
- As weather allows, now is the perfect time to plant new trees and hedges, creating welcome structure and boundaries within your garden.
- If you're planning on moving any plants in your garden, it's best to do it now when they're still dormant, before they put on lots of spring growth.
- In the event of heavy snowfall, use a broom to gently brush snow off prized conifers, topiary and evergreen shrubs, which can otherwise snap and break under the weight.
- Hellebores are full of bud are now ready to reveal their welcome flowers. Carefully cut off the foliage to the base to show the flowers in all their glory.
- If weather allows, now will be a great time to plant new Roses.
- Continue to cut back and tidy faded cottage garden perennials, grass and seed heads for their architectural interest, which will be especially beautiful on frosty mornings, but also feed winter birds and shelter overwintering insects.
- Sow Sweet Peas under cover now to make strong plants ready for planting out in time for Easter. Sow two seeds per root trainer or deep pot, keeping an eye out for mice, which will have a penchant for germinating pea seed.
- Apple and Pear trees can be pruned now, creating an open goblet shape with no rubbing or crossing branches.
- Start forcing Rhubarb now for the earliest sweetest stems. This is traditionally done by using a beautiful ornamental terracotta forcer, lined with straw for extra warmth, but equally, a black bucket placed over the top will suffice.
- Potatoes and onion sets should be available in store this month.
- Dig over vacant plots and leave rough for frost to break down.
- Where it's possible, avoid walking on the lawn in the coldest, frosty weather.
- Following heavy rain, water will sit in puddles on the lawn. Prevent this by spiking the lawn with a garden fork to aid drainage.
- Get your tools ready for the spring by cleaning, sharpening and oiling them.
- Wash pots and trays in readiness for new sowings.
Tips courtesy of Dobbies Garden Centre