Gardening Tasks for January
Navigating the Challenges of a Summer Garden
With its characteristic heat, dry conditions, and often busy holiday schedules, January presents unique challenges for the home gardener. Yet, with a little care and the right strategies, your garden can be a bountiful oasis!
Mulch, Mulch, Mulch!
Regular mulching is critical in keeping your garden lush and healthy during summer. Start by removing any weeds and deeply watering the soil. Then evenly spread Daltons Premium Mulch & Grow about 5-10cm thick, over your garden beds, around plants and trees, and especially those growing in pots/containers. This not only protects against harsh elements but also aids in moisture retention, ensuring your garden stays vibrant and hydrated.
Veggie Garden Tasks
As temperatures increase, watering becomes critical for your veggie garden. Summer vegetables ready to be harvested are beans, peas, cabbage, carrots, beetroot, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, and zucchini/courgette.
Maximise your garden's productivity by filling gaps and planting out beetroot, cabbage, carrots, leeks, lettuce, radish, spinach, and silver beet. Stagger plantings every few weeks to provide a continuous and steady supply of crops.
Prepare the soil before planting by adding fresh compost. This is an important step and can be the difference between a thriving, productive garden and one that struggles. Give soil an extra boost by adding Daltons Chicken and Sheep Pellets which provide a balanced source of safe, natural, nutrients – you can also apply them around existing plants and gently fork them in. Water your newly planted seedlings regularly to encourage a strong root system.
A peak month for summer flowering annuals, particularly marigolds, petunias, salvias, and zinnias showcasing their full, vibrant blooms. For areas in need of a refresh, consider planting 'potted colour' available at your local garden centre. These are specifically grown to a larger flowering size to provide instant colour in the garden or containers.
Water regularly while being mindful of overwatering, as summer annuals naturally thrive in hot and sunny conditions.
Fruit Tree Harvesting
This month brims with the harvest of stone fruits, including juicy peaches, nectarines, plums, and late-season apricots and cherries. With citrus trees, keep spraying copper oxychloride to safeguard developing young fruit from melanose and varicosis diseases. Early-season apples will reach ripeness later in the month.
January often marks the final month for strawberry harvest (depending on varieties). To promote more fruit, snip off any runners (baby plants). Plant them into pots and you'll have a fresh batch of strawberry plants ready for next season!
Vigorous growing rose bushes may need a light prune to maintain their shape and health. Water plants when the soil begins to dry and nourish them with fresh compost and mulch. Regularly deadhead finished blooms to stimulate more flowers, keeping your roses vibrant and productive. If black spot or rust appears – spray immediately. Remove any infected leaves from the ground and dispose of them – do not put them in the compost bin!
Now is an ideal time to gather herbs for drying and storing, to be used in the winter months. Cut back vigorous growing herbs to encourage ‘fresh, tasty’ new growth. Keep planting out your favourite varieties so you have plenty to hand.
Container plants dry out much faster than plants grown in the garden so consistent watering is needed, especially in summer and with smaller or shallow containers. Give plants a boost with Daltons Premium Container & Garden Fertiliser which is ideal for plants growing in containers and nutrients are released when water is applied.
Ventilate your home to provide ‘fresh air’ for your indoor plants. Carefully monitor watering as houseplants can be exceptionally thirsty during summer. Check for early signs of any pests or diseases. Feed with Daltons Premium Houseplant Tabs.