Gardening in January: Preparing for spring

January might be the middle of winter but as the days lengthen the garden starts to grow. Now is a great time to plan for the coming gardening year and to order seeds and plants. Let’s take a look at some jobs you could be getting on with to prepare for the warmer months ahead.

Clean pots and greenhouses

It may not be the most glamorous of winter tasks but cleaning out greenhouses, gutters and water butts is an important one. Cleaning greenhouses, whether glass or plastic, greatly improves the growing environment for plants. Removing the algae, moss and grime lets in more light and helps control pests and diseases too.

Set aside a day when the weather is dry and calm. Remove all plants and move them to a sheltered area with a transparent fleece or crop cover to protect them from weather and pests. Next, you need to brush or vacuum any debris and clean any structural parts with disinfectant or detergent- hot solutions are usually best.

Clean out gutters and water butts

Gutters can block easily with the recent storms and heavy rain, the same goes for water butts. Put on a pair of rubber gloves and run your hand along the inside length of the gutter, scooping out any old leaves, moss or debris that have accumulated. Wash away any remaining dirt with a watering can or hosepipe, placing any debris on a compost heap if you have one.

Standing water in butts can become green with algae and may be a source of waterborne root rots such as Phytophthora. Uncovered tanks may harbour mosquitoes. Ideally, they should be cleaned out once a year. Simply drain all the water by tipping the butt on its side and scrub out the inside with a coarse brush and garden disinfectant.

Pruning and tidying

January is a great time to prune your Wisteria by cutting back any whispy summer growth, leaving only 2 or 3 buds. Rose bushes can be pruned whilst they are still dormant. Make sure you cut the branches back to just below the bud, making sure to remove any crossing or dead branches.

Plant snowdrops!

January is the best time to plant new colonies of snowdrops and hellebores by buying plants already in flower so that you can choose the prettiest blooms. Snowdrop bulbs are best planted in October/November.

Plan your garden from the comfort of your own home

January is a great time to plan your garden for the year ahead. Make the most of the quieter months by doing some gardening admin such as; planning your vegetable plot, ordering seeds, ordering spring-planting bulbs and tubers and ordering climbing perennials like clematis for early spring planting.

Need a helping hand?

If your garden is looking a little worse for wear after the harsh weather we’ve had recently, or you simply don’t have the time to dedicate to your outside space, the team at Rosewood Grounds Maintenance can help. We offer a comprehensive range of landscaping and garden maintenance services, guaranteed to give you a garden you are proud of.

Whether you need a one-off garden makeover, or regular garden maintenance, get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you. You can also follow us on Facebook or Instagram to keep up to date with the team.