I got to head out to a couple of garden centres the other day. Both looked extremely sad and lacking in anything remotely plant or flower based. These places always look so forlorn at this time of year as the Christmas decks are cleared away, boxes half packed up and half unpacked, and odd sale items all over the place. Along with a rather sad menagerie of bulbs and bird seed.
In our garden I’ve managed to spend some time (in between the gales and sheets of rain) having a general tidy up, hoeing over and adding compost to the raised beds and even pulling up the dahlia plants. Whether they survive or not is another matter but always good to have a go!
I’ll add my photo’s at the beginning of each post so if you haven’t got time to read you can quickly glance at the garden’s update in photo’s.
As always, let me know what you think. Is it useful or just a pain to read?
I think the cabbage and swede plants aren’t going to grow much further in this weather, now we’re in the depths of winter, but I wonder if I left them whether they would pick up again in Spring? Should I leave them or ditch them? What would you do?
I’m still harvesting salad leaves from one bed but I’ve not composted the rest to make way for sowing the onions and garlic bulbs. Yes, I’m about a month too late (or too early depending on whether you’re an autumn or Spring planter), but I say heck to that. We haven’t had many frosts yet so I think if I get the garlic in and cover them with fleece they should be good to go.
Let’s not talk about this area…throughout all these gusty winds and general gales the grow house hasn’t moved an inch, let alone fallen over and yet all that is holding it down are some tent pegs. I think it’s because the whole thing is so constantly wet all the time it’s actually weighing the whole thing down! Menace thing that it is, it is at least keeping pots frost free (for now). Nothing and no way could anything be grown or even protected in there because it’s just too darn damp. I was going to plant my sweetpea seeds until I realised that they just won’t do any good in this wet tent so I’ll leave sowing them for now.
I have now pruned both the apple and plum espaliers ready for year two’s growth. I didn’t realise I should have done this in September. I just assumed that because I planted and pruned them this time last yr, that I should prune them again this yr at the same time. The first year’s growth is going well, with many buds already preparing for spring time.
Everything else is asleep apart from the bulbs starting to appear.
I’ve come up with an idea for the front garden. I’m going to grow a privet hedge at the end to join it to the one running along the side, effectively enclosing (very loosely) the whole garden with either privet or hazelnut hedge, affording much needed cover (and privacy) and shelter to birds. Then, I’m going to plant three native trees, in front of the newly planted privet. And then in front of that I’ll add bee friendly perennials. I shall remove the silly circle that currently sits smack bang in the lawn to make mowing easier. I’m then going to add a small ponds (fish-less) towards the corner of the garden and that will hopefully all encourage more (any) hedgehogs, foxes and more insects into the garden. It will also help towards the areas I’m growing fruit and veg for pollination and pest resistance. I’m conscious the privet will add more upkeep than the current fence but the amount of time we spend every year pruning the established shrubs is silly, so no further work will be added that’s for sure!
My top three jobs to do in January:
- I’m going to need to get those shrubs up in the front garden as soon as possible so I can bare root plant the privet plants (once bought).
- To sow the garlic bulbs
- Start to chit the potatoes ready for early Spring
Garden jobs to do around the garden in January:
- Take blackcurrant cuttings (if you have an established plant)
- Rake up the leaves from the lawn and continue to compost them
- Keep feeding the birds and the water supply ice free
- Plant rhubarb
- Buy bare rooted fruit trees and plant now (unless ground too saturated).
What will you be up to in the garden this month?