January – not the bleakest of months

January – not the bleakest of months

“There are two seasonal diversions that can ease the bite of any winter.  One is the January thaw.  The other is the seed catalogues.”
Hal Borland – Wikipedia


And that kind of sums up January in the UK – it might not feel like it, but the days are definitely getting a little bit longer and if you sniff really (really) hard you might just be able to discern a whiff of spring in the air! There have been some lovely sunny (but perishing!) days so get yourself off the sofa, into your thermal undies, and get yourself into your garden and start preparing for spring! Here are some jobs you could be getting on with:



  • Check your stored dahlia and begonia tubers for frost damage – make sure they’re nice and dry and away from damp or leaks



  • While you’re in the greenhouse or shed – have a tidy up, you won’t have time later in the year!



  • Check your lawn for WORM CASTS: break them up using a simple wire rake, have the teeth facing upwards and move the rake from side to side over the lawn surface. Or just brush them away. Whatever method you choose, only do this on dry days.




  • Whilst we’re talking lawns, check it for damage (hope you haven’t been stomping on it through the snow and frost!). If it’s relatively mild, you can do lawn repairs now – you can even lay new turf – so look out for damaged edges around flower beds and cut better pieces of turf from inconspicuous parts of the lawn to replace them.



  • Get a head start by planting BARE-ROOT TREES & SHRUBS now. You’ll be glad you did when they’re romping away come summer! Prepare the ground by loosening the soil and digging a hole about the same height and three times the width of the root area. Soak the roots in water for about 30 mins and when that’s done place it in the hole you dug earlier with the first layer of roots about level with the soil – no deeper. Refill the hole, making sure there are no air pockets. Firm the soil down and water it well. Bingo – that’s it!



  • If you’re a veg grower (and why wouldn’t you be?) start planning what goes where this year (crop rotation if you want the proper term!). The idea is to grow specific types of vegs on different parts of your plot each year. By switching things around like this you will help to reduce a build-up of crop-specific pest and disease problems and you’ll have your crops nicely organised according to their cultivation needs.



  • Don’t forget the birds – they need food and water for a good while yet so keep filling your bird feeders and checking that the water you provide isn’tr actually a mini skating rink!


snowy garden
Snowy garden in January
Begonia tubers safely stored nice and dry
Begonia tubers safely stored nice and dry
small greenhouse
Have a clear out and general tidy up
grass with worm casts
worm casts in lawn
Dreamscape team member digging hole
Dig a hole 3 x the width of the roots
Waxwing feeding on berries in our garden
Waxwing feeding on berries in our garden


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