Tel: 01483 416685

January 2016

General Maintenance

  • Turn off the water to outside taps and lag the pipes and taps against damage from freezing weather.
  • Clean algae from cloches with soapy water.
  • Remove pumps and filters from ponds and store them for the winter.
  • Wash pots and trays with a weak disinfectant solution.
  • Get strimmers and mowers serviced before you need to use them.
  • Empty compost heaps that are ready to use as mulch and spread it on the garden or bag it up for use later in the spring.

Patio and Container Gardening

  • Tip out Lily bulbs that have been in their pots for a few years and divide them up. Replant in fresh compost with plenty of drainage ‘crocks’ at the base of the pot.
  • Make sure that spring bulbs in containers do not go short of water as they start to shoot away.
  • Keep evergreen plants in a sheltered part of the garden away from cold winds and leave the containers wrapped in bubble wrap until the weather warms up.

Bulbs and Perennials

  • Continue to clear leaves and flower stems from perennials and add them to the compost heap. Leaving them on your borders can encourage slugs.
  • Use a sheet of clear plastic supported on four short canes to protect fleshy leaved alpines from excessive wet weather or snow. Weight the sheet down with a stone.
  • Spread mulch over your borders before spring bulbs start to appear through the soil.

Trees and Shrubs

  • Spread mulch of rotted garden compost or well rotted manure on your borders to improve the soil.
  • Winter prune summer flowering shrubs by removing some of the old growth to the ground on established plants.
  • Tie in branches of columnar shrubs and conifers so that falls of snow do not break them or bend them out of shape.

Sowing and Planting

  • Plant bare root trees and shrubs into well prepared soil if the weather is favourable.
  • Visit your local garden centre and look at the range of flower seeds available. Start to plan your requirements and buy popular varieties before they sell out!

Lawns

  • Rake up and compost any leaves that have been blown onto the lawn.
  • Avoid walking on the lawn when the grass is frozen and avoid walking on areas of grass where bulbs are planted – their shoots will be just below the soil surface.

The Vegetable Garden

  • Continue to hoe between winter crops when the weather is suitable.
  • Plant fruit trees into well prepared soil if conditions allow.
  • Continue with winter digging, adding compost or well rotted manure to the section that will grow peas, beans, onions and leafy salad crops.
  • Check rabbit fences and windbreaks, repairing if necessary.
  • Cut old Raspberry canes to the ground and tie in the new ones that will fruit this year.

Wildlife

  • Clean out nest boxes and make sure you put them up as soon as possible – many birds will be scouting for places to breed already!
  • Continue to feed the birds especially with suet and other fatty foods as well as peanuts from a feeder. These are all high energy foods.
  • Break ice on birdbaths and drinking stations daily.
  • Be careful not to disturb over wintering insects such as Ladybirds, which may be lodging in hollow plant stems, as you tidy your garden.
Source  Notcutts Garden Centre

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