Gardening Tasks for January
Gardening Tasks for January
January gardening tasks – indoors and out!
Both January and February are challenging months in the home garden- hot, dry conditions are often the norm and present problems for most gardeners. On a positive note, there are plenty of vegetables to harvest and stone fruit to be picked!
January is a difficult month for houseplants, as many people head off for the holidays. Possibly this year, with Covid19 restrictions differing by region, there will be more people at home to care for their houseplants. It is important to understand the needs of your houseplants; water-wise, preferred light conditions, and their nutritional requirements.
Clean leaves with a moist sponge and remove any dead leaves or finished flowers. If you are looking for plants to purchase, Garden Centres stock a wide range of houseplants that will thrive in a variety of positions in your home. Remember the bathroom, with its high humidity can revive ailing houseplants, or simply, a place to grow lush, leafy varieties.
Almost all summer vegetables can be harvested in January including beans, carrots, eggplants, beetroot, cucumbers, courgettes, peas, potatoes, radish, and sweetcorn. Keep your vegetable garden’s productivity going through till the end of summer with succession planting – regularly plant fast-maturing vegetables like dwarf beans, lettuce, and radish. Other long-term maintenance should include regular watering, weeding, mulching with Daltons Premium Mulch and Grow, and adding additional compost for some vegetables.
As summer flowering annuals relish the heat of summer, January is an excellent month for these plants, providing dazzling displays of flowers. Regular maintenance includes, ‘dead-heading’, weeding, watering and in some instances, replanting. Summer flowering annuals to plant include alyssum, cornflower, cosmos, marigolds, petunias, salvias, poppies, portulacas, and zinnias.
Raspberries and Strawberries
Strawberry plants will continue to crop throughout January. Maintain your weeding, and if you haven’t done it yet, apply fresh mulch around the plants of pea straw or clean Daltons Premium Mulch and Grow. This helps to keep the strawberries clean, suppresses weeds and improves soil water retention.
Raspberry fruiting will taper off towards the end of the month coinciding with rapid growth of canes. Prune excess canes and tie-down new season canes that will provide raspberries next summer.
Time to start harvesting stone fruit; apricots, cherries, peaches, and plums (yum!). Always check where the fruit are on the tree i.e. the age of the wood, which will provide an excellent guide for your winter pruning. The first apples ripen towards the end of the month. Give your fruit trees a deep watering two to three times a week during the growing season.
As herbs thrive in the heat, January and February are prolific months in the herb garden. Trim regularly to maintain fresh growth and to prevent flowering. Plant additional herbs where supply is short.
It’s not an easy month for roses. Humidity means that black spot and rust become significant problems. Spray every two weeks to treat any disease or pests. Continue to deadhead and a light summer prune of unwanted growth can be beneficial and encourage late summer flowering.
A challenging time for lawn maintenance, especially towards the end of the month. Where possible, irrigate the lawn, preferably early morning or at night so that water doesn’t quickly evaporate. Note that some grass species are hardier in hot, dry months and should be considered if you are thinking about laying a new lawn or patching parts of the lawn in autumn.
Plants growing in containers can dry out very quickly. Water your pots two to three times a week thoroughly, rather than a sprinkle every night. You may need to increase frequency when it is hotter.
Care for the home garden during your summer holiday
After all the hard work of planting and caring for your vegetable garden, you don’t want to abandon it right when it is flourishing. Again, ask friends, or family members to water your vegetable garden while you are away. Alternatively, invest in a water timer which will operate automatically. Summers are becoming longer almost yearly and therefore, there are at least three more warm months in which to cultivate a vast number of vegetables and enjoy summer flowering annuals!