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What to do in the garden in January

Lisa Garden on 02-01-2017

There’s no denying that January can be a bracing month in the garden – but it’s also the start of an exciting new season, and there’s plenty to get on with outdoors.

General tasks:

Lag outdoor taps with bubble-wrap insulation or hessian to prevent damage in freezing weather.

Remove snow from the roofs of greenhouses and polytunnels to prevent it building up and damaging the structures.

Ornamental gardens:

Feed Christmas-flowering amaryllis (Hippeastrum) once a fortnight once the flowers fade to help bulk up the bulb for next year’s display.

Trim away old hellebore leaves right back to the base to show off emerging flower buds: new leaves will unfurl for a fresh spring display.

Clean up bamboo stems by stripping away lower leaves to expose the vibrantly-coloured canes and removing thin and spindly growth to the base.

Kitchen garden:

Finish pruning fruit trees except stone fruit like cherries and plums which should be pruned in summer.

Sow broad beans in pots under cover to give them a head start on the season: good varieties include ‘Masterpiece Green Longpod’ and ‘Bunyard’s Exhibition’.

Force rhubarb by upturning a black dustbin or terracotta forcing pot over the crown to exclude light from the emerging shoots.