January Jobs for Gardeners
Although it seems like every year the same jobs are to be done in the garden month by month, this year with a very mild winter almost behind us, January jobs are proving to be a little bit different.
Even in the North some rose bushes that have been left to grow are still sporting beautiful blooms, whereas the daffodils are already poking their heads through the soil months ahead of Mother’s Day.
Of course, the worst of winter may yet be to come but as the days grow longer it seems that some weeds are here to stay. As lovely as it has been to be able to garden in the sparse daylight hours, as gardeners we know that as soon as spring does arrive the weeding is going to be relentless.
Now is an ideal time to either invest in some weed control fabric or find another way to keep these weeds at bay. Unpredictable weather means that we cannot guarantee a few dry days to use weed killer whilst the winds may blow this potent liquid onto our most prized plants.
A sustainable way to win the war against weeds is to use old bags from compost or animal feed. Slightly over lapping them at the sides, pin down with pegs and poke holes through where you wish the plants to grow.
Then cover with chippings, slate or pebbles leaving visitors none the wiser to the economic trick.
With the weather it has been difficult to know what to prune and when, taking out the secateurs, we’ve noticed on closer examination that many bushes that would usually be in the frozen slumber, are wide awake and still growing. However now is the time to prune, as if the weather becomes any warmer the next chance a gardener will have to safely trim any bush will be in ten months’ time.
Make the most of the trimming of rosemary and sage plants. Hang upside down in the shed to give freshly dried herbs all year. Even the parsley is hanging on tight and still creating a lovely frilly border around our vegetable patches without showing signs of going to seed.
Freezing herbs also works well; there are now frozen herbs to buy on the market however nothing can be fresher than your own, from paddock to utility room to plate!
The mild winter has also made sure the moss stays exactly where it is, and with the culmination of rain and sleet this makes for some very slippy and dangerous ground. Investing in a good power washer or even a stiff bristled brush will remove most of the moss and surrounding algae and leave your paths risk free.
Hanging baskets can now be made up with bulbs and aubrietia however resist the urge to buy lobelia and petunias regardless of the frost free nights, as we don’t know exactly what’s round the corner!
Discover a wide variety of garden plants here.