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What to do in the garden in January

8 January 2016
What to do in the garden in January

The start of the new year marks your last few weeks on easy street before seed-sowing starts in earnest. Make the most of it by finishing off the winter jobs and getting ready for the new season.

General tasks:

  • Keep an eye out for overwintering weeds as some, like chickweed, can still set seed and spread in milder spells.
  • Check trees and shrubs you planted in autumn to make sure the frost hasn't lifted the roots out of the ground.

Ornamental garden:

  • Plant low box hedging for an elegant formal edging to parterres and knot gardens, spacing plants about 20cm apart.
  • Prune wisteria back to two or three buds from the main stems to tidy it up and show off flowers at their best.
  • Sow sweet peas in root trainer modules under cover for a scented display this summer.

Kitchen garden:

  • Chit seed potatoes by setting them out in egg boxes. Place somewhere bright and frost-free to sprout.
  • Prune grape vines while they're still dormant, cutting back the side shoots to within one or two buds of the main stem.
  • Force rhubarb by covering the crowns with an upside down black dustbin or large plant pot with the holes blocked for long, slender, sweet stems within about eight weeks.