Guest post by Erin aka @hortihunny
Happy new year! January is often the coldest month in the garden so wrap up warm if you’re heading out to do jobs! If you prefer to look through the window at the garden and stay cosy, it’s a great time to think about what you would like to achieve in your garden in 2022. It can be hard to motivate yourself on those bleak winter days so little and often is the way to do it!
- Recycle Your Christmas Tree
If you have a real Christmas tree, don’t forget to put it out with your brown bin on your next collection day. This is the most responsible way to dispose of your tree as once it has been collected, it is put in the trusty hands of Caledonian Horticulture where it will be shredded and turned into compost.
If you haven’t planted your bulbs yet, try and get them in as soon as possible. They will flower a little bit later but it’s better than not planting them at all!
You can chit your first early seed potatoes in a light, frost free place so they are ready to plant in February and March.
Sow broad beans indoors so they are ready to plant out in spring for an early crop.
You can start planting your sweet peas indoors. Sweet pea seeds have a very hard coat so try scratching them with sandpaper or soaking in water for a few hours before you plant them as this will help with germination.
January is a good time to prune fruit trees, especially apples and pears. They need to be pruned each winter to encourage new growth, improve their shape and promote better quality fruit. Trimming the branches back means that more energy will be put into the fruit and it also allows for better air circulation, meaning less chance of pest and diseases. It is important to remove any broken branches too. When you are pruning, ensure any cut you make is slightly angled so water can run off it easily. If your brown bins are full you can book our Caledonian Collections service.
- Garden Maintenance
It’s the perfect time to do those jobs you never quite get round to… Check your garden after any extreme weather. Clear leaves from lawns, paths, decks and gutters. Check over your tools and give them a clean/sharpen if needed (secateurs, shears, hoes). Service your lawn mower before its busy season. Wash out and scrub used pots before planting anything in them this year as it minimises the spread of diseases and bacteria. Give your greenhouse a good clean to ensure more light is passing through the shiny panes. Line it with bubble wrap or fleece to insulate it. Remember to keep those bird feeders topped up, especially in frosty and snowy spells!
- Preparation for 2022
Sort through your seed collection, checking the dates on any packets (if they are out of date, they may not germinate as well as a new packet but give them a try before you chuck them out, you never know!)
Plan your garden ideas – I find sketches and lists help me to prioritise what I need to plant and sow when. It also means I can look back at previous years to ensure I’m rotating my vegetable crops. Crop rotation can help to increase nutrients in the soil and minimise the spread of diseases such as club root. Complete any bed preparation and maintenance such as digging over or mulching if you are a believer in no dig!