January in your Garden
1 CommentFriday, 30 December 2016 | Alison
Much as I have enjoyed the almost balmy days of December I have to report that I am delighted to have a bit of a nip in the air at last. Frosted intricately woven cobwebs glistening in the early morning glint of hazy sunshine and crunchy ground underfoot on an exhilarating walk in the woods or along the canal side or coast are what deepest winter days should be all about.
There are plenty of little jobs to do from the armchair and in the garden during January so here are a few of them:-
“Buy Seeds to Sow and Plug Plants to Grow”
- Order from the new range of Vegetable Seeds that we have added to our extensive choice so you can be getting on with sowing Broad Beans Aquadulce Claudia and Bunyards Exhibition for an earlier harvest.
Try an early sowing undercover of Leaf Beet Rainbow Chard too as it is delicious to eat as well as being decorative. Also, sow some Salad Leaf Mixed Oriental Leaves and Fine Curled Cress which will be ready in a few days to add to salads.
- Write down a list of which vegetables and herbs you would like to grow this year and then draw up a rough plan of which vegetables to grow where and which work well together and how long each crop occupies the ground.
**Rotating your crops is one the keys to successful growing, as this helps to keep the risk of soil borne diseases at bay. So, imagine a square divided into four – it doesn’t matter what size it is – you would be amazed at the amount of crops that you can grow in a square metre!
One patch has potatoes, one has peas and beans, one has root vegetables and one has cabbages and brassicas. All you do is move the different vegetable groups around each year so that you are not growing the same mix of plants in the same spot. It’s really the most natural way of preventing root disease in crops**
- If you can get hold of some well-rotted farmyard manure, or buy it in handy sized bags from your local garden nursery, spread over the vegetable patch area and leave the worms to take the goodness down into the soil or dig the manure into the ground if it is workable.
- Carry out any pruning that may need to be done if you have a grapevine or wisteria whilst they are dormant and before the sap begins to rise again.
- Hellebores can have the older leaves cut away at the base of the stalks to show off the flowers to their best.
- Deadhead winter flowering pansies, polyanthus and violas to encourage more flowers.
- Make sure you have booked your lawnmower in to have a service before springtime appears.
- Check any Dahlia tubers you may have stored for the winter and make sure you remove any with rot or disease.
- If snowy weather abounds, clear it from the greenhouse roof and glass topped cold frames. The weight of snow is deceptive and can buckle frames if large amounts of snow build up. Also, brush off any deposits of snow on trees and shrubs. Again, snow damage can bend or snap the delicate branches and stems under the weight.
- Don’t forget to keep feeding the birds and make sure their bird bath is ice-free.
The long month of January will ‘dance’ by, I know, so until February……
Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy and Productive Gardening Year 2017
From all of us at Brookside Nursery