Mortimer Gardening Club - What to do in the garden in January
There's always something to be doing in the garden, whether it's pruning, tidying or sowing, so we've put together our top gardening tasks for January.
Timely Tips In the flower garden
- Prune your Wisteria plant now, cutting back summer side-shoots to 2 or 3 buds.
- Prune rose bushes now whilst they are dormant. Cut back to just above a bud and remove any crossing or dead branches.
- You can plant bare root roses now in a sunny position for spectacular summer colour.
- If your garden is looking a bit bare try growing a winter-flowering evergreen Clematis such as 'Winter Beauty'.
- For a more unusual bare-root plant to add to your borders now, try growing Alstroemeria (Peruvian Lily).
- Cut back the old foliage from ornamental grasses before growth begins - clip them to within a few centimetres of the ground.
- Cut down the old stems of perennial plants like Sedum - be careful of any new growth. Remove old Hellebore leaves to make the new blooms more visible as they emerge this spring.
- Cut back damaged, diseased and the oldest stems of brightly coloured willows, and thin overcrowded stems.
- Remove any faded flowers from your winter pansies to stop them setting seed.
Jobs around the garden
- Shred your Christmas tree and add it to compost bins. Alternatively the stripped down branches make great pea sticks.
- Hang fat balls and keep bird feeders topped up to attract birds, who will in turn eat pests in your garden.
- Get rid of slimy patches on the patio, and paving by scrubbing with a broom or blasting with a pressure washer.
- Wash empty pots by scrubbing them with hot water and a mild detergent. Rinse them well afterwards.
- Consider purchasing water butts now ready for the summer. Rainwater is particularly useful for watering acid-loving, ericaceous plants (tap water is often slightly alkaline).
- Continue planting trees and shrubs while they are still dormant.