A New Year with Thriving Gardens
Many gardens are thriving in the New Year – the positive result of the time and energy that was transferred to the home garden during the more difficult times of 2020. January is an extremely rewarding month in the garden, with crops abound from the veggie garden, raspberry patch and delicious summer pip and stone fruit!
With enough rainfall and some additional irrigation, January can be a bountiful month for harvesting summer vegetables. These include; beans, carrots, eggplants, beetroot, cucumbers, peas, potatoes, radish, sweet corn and zucchini (courgettes). Keep planting out ‘quick’ maturing salad veggies like dwarf beans, lettuce, radish etc. With longer-term summer vegetables such as tomatoes, side dressings of Daltons Garden Time Vegetable Fertiliser are beneficial for plants as they come into fruiting.
Summer Flowering Annuals
Summer annuals that thrive in high temperatures will provide stunning displays throughout the month. Keep deadheading finished flowers to enhance continuous flowering. Water plants when required, and more regularly (once a day) for those being grown in containers as they will dry out very quickly in the heat or dry winds.
A tough month for lawns, especially if rainfall is scarce. Irrigate in the cooler hours of the day, e.g., early morning or in the evening so there is less evaporation. Use a water timer on irrigation systems where possible to ensure more control over water use, especially in areas of the country where there are water restrictions.
The first of summer pip and stone fruit ripen this month. Apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches and plums are all ready for harvest. With fruit trees that were planted in winter 2020, ensure they are adequately watered to encourage strong, healthy growth. Mulching also helps with water retention and suppresses weeds.
Traditionally strawberries finish around Christmas time. However new varieties have extended harvest time well into January. Mulch the plants with crushed bark or pea straw and water regularly to help maintain healthy growth. Plants will start growing runners in January, these are your next seasons plants. Where there are excessive runners, cut and remove them.
January is a prolific month for harvesting raspberries. Plants grow rapidly at this time with new canes appearing everywhere! Tie up strong, young canes for next years crops and remove any surplus ones.
The easy months of rose cultivation are unfortunately over. As temperatures and humidity rise, the care of roses becomes much more challenging. If pests or diseases do appear, apply a good quality horticultural oil at 3-4 weekly intervals until the end of the season (around April). You also need to re-apply after rainfall as protection will be washed off – this can mean spraying several days apart. To help reduce black spot and rust, maintain your roses in good physical condition throughout the summer months with regular watering and mulching. Avoid fertilising plants during summer when rose plants are heat stressed.
Deadhead (removal of finished blooms) your roses once a week to encourage continued flowering. A light summer prune, especially on vigorous growing varieties is beneficial and is often rewarded with displays of blooms in late-summer/early autumn.