January isn’t really the time of year that we associate with spending time outdoors, or more specifically, in the garden. However, putting in the time outside in the garden now is hugely beneficial for your garden later in the year. In fact, there are plenty of things to get on with in the garden during these cold and dark days – so wrap up warm and get out there. Here are just a few of the things that you can do at the moment…
Looking After Wildlife – The animals that live around the garden are having a hard time in this part of the year. The cold weather, and scarcity of food means that many struggle for survival. However, there are plenty of things that you can do to help them. For birds, this is a good time to put up nest boxes, or if you have already got some in place, you can now clean them out with warm water (no toxic chemicals) ready for nesting season which will soon be here!
You can also ensure there are plenty of sheltered places that are warm and undisturbed for hedgehogs, frogs and toads to snuggle up whilst waiting for the worst of the weather to blow over!
You can also supply fresh food and water – seeds and grains will really help the birds, and also water should be provided each day – remember that it may freeze over, so melt it daily with warm water so that birds can get a much-needed drink.
Planning your Plants – This time of the year is exciting – it is time to start planning what you will plant and sow in the garden. There are plenty of options and it will all decide on the time that you have to tend them, your experience and the size and direction of your garden.
You can buy seeds or bulbs, or larger plants from many places, like these plants for trade Kent based company Palmstead. It is a good idea to do a bit of research and planning before you go out and buy lots of plants, bulbs and seeds. Although it is tempting of course to go overboard, it is wise to look into the needs of the plant and see if it will be suitable for your garden.
Cleaning and Tidying – There are lots of these types of jobs to do in January. To get everything ready for the spring, now is the time to get on with it. Clear up leaves and debris that may have fallen from winter storms and bad weather. It is also a good idea to make any repairs that need doing.
Use dry spells to do things like painting fences. Clean out pots and planters ready for new plants to go into and prepare seed trays in the greenhouse. Make sure all of your garden equipment and your tools are all in good order and ready to use – they may also need to be cleaned, and some, such as secateurs may need to be sharpened.