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  • Edward Bowring

Gardening Jobs for January


The greenhouse thermometer registered -4C in the cold spell leading up to Christmas, which was a first for us down here on the south coast and the rain ever since has turned the garden into a soggy brown mess. However, week by week the daylight hours inch forward bringing with them the hope that spring is not too far away.

The snowdrops and first of the irises are yet to appear and do their cheering thing, but it can't be too much longer, especially with this continuing mild spell.

January and the start of the new year is a great time to dream of how your garden could look in just a few months time. The seed catalogues that come thundering through the letter box this time of year can be a welcome distraction from the reality of most gardens this time of year and provide a great source of inspiration for the year to come.

However, when there's a break in the weather, wrap up warm, get outside and make a head start on the garden and before the snowdrops and hellebores pass their best.

What to do in the garden this month:


Broad beans direct outside.

Bulbs for spring, it's not too late (just)!

Plant out bare root roses, fruit tree and shellebores.

Take hardwood cuttings of shrubs and fruit bushes.

Mulch heavy clay soils with organic matter to improve structure and drainage.


Kale, sprouts, spinach, leeks, cabbage, parsnips.

Snowdrops, hellebores, irises, daffodils.

Secature/lopper jobs:

Prune vines, currants and Japanese acers that are now leafless and dormant.

Remove any yellow brussels sprout foliage.

Cut back tall asparagus foliage once yellow and brittle and generously mulch with manure or compost.

Pinch out autumn-sown sweet peas.

Cut back autumn fruiting raspberry canes.

Winter prune apples and pears.

Other Jobs:

Clean out and disinfect greenhouses and cold frames.

Sweep pathways.

Wash pots and labels.

Start dreaming of the garden come summer and begin ordering seeds.

Gardening adds years to your life and life to your years. – Unknown


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