What to do in the garden in January…

As winter starts to bite, cover tender plants to protect them from frost damage.

Most pests will be inactive in cold spells, but it’s still worth checking for snails etc in sheltered places, such as empty pots in the cold frame or greenhouse.

Prune rose bushes now whilst they are dormant. Cut back to just above a bud and remove any crossing or dead branches.

Begin pruning your apple trees and pear trees if you haven’t done so already – this is best done whilst they are dormant.

Order fruit bushes such as currants now and plant in a well prepared bed in a sheltered position; they will be a lot tastier than supermarket produce!

Avoid walking on your lawn when it is blanketed by heavy frost or snow, as this will damage the grass beneath.

Shred your Christmas tree and add it to compost bins. Alternatively the stripped down branches make great pea sticks.

Hang fat balls and keep bird feeders topped up to attract birds, who will in turn eat pests in your garden.

Get rid of slimy patches on the patio, and paving by scrubbing with a broom or blasting with a pressure washer.

Central heating can dry the air in your home and cause damage to indoor plants. Mist house plants regularly and stand them on a tray of pebbles filled with water to increase the humidity.

Order your seeds now. Have a garden plan drawn up to help decide the quantities you need.

Plan your vegetable plot for this year to ensure good crop rotation and prevent pests and diseases building up in the soil.

Things that look good in January: Clematis, Cornus, Winter Pansies, Parsnip, Sprouts and Kale.

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