Greenbelt

Gardening Jobs for January

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Gardening Jobs For January

It may be cold and often wet but getting busy in the garden will help everyone to warm up! Here is Greenbelt’s list of “Jobs for January”.

Don’t walk on the grass!

You don’t see these little signs of prohibition much any more, but it’s sound advice to put out a reminder in January. That lovely layer of white frost looks wonderful, but walk across your lawn before it’s thawed and the chances are your black footprints will bruise the grass below.

Force rhubarb

No, this isn’t a call to make small talk with strangers: it’s to promote this delicious fruit to produce early. Although rhubarb can be pulled in late April and May, by covering the crowns you can force it into growth two months early. And who can resist the delights of a steaming hot rhubarb crumble, served with custard, on a dark winter’s night?

Help for hellebores

January is the best time to cut away the old leaves as new flowers begin to emerge on your hellebores. This means they can be seen at their best and removes any leaves that may have been infected with leaf spot. You might also want to feed the plants with compost or better still, if you can source it locally, well-rotted manure.

Clean and tidy

Now is the best time to attend to long-overdue chores such as turning the compost heap to encourage it along. You might also want to remove leaves from around roses to control black spot: these should be burned.

It’s also the ideal time to sort out the shed. After a good sweep out, organise your tools, setting aside those that might need sharpening. Does your lawn mower need serviced? Now is the time to do this, before it’s called into action.

The greenhouse, meanwhile, needs to be scrubbed inside and out, making sure you banish any overwintering pests and diseases.

Bag a bargain

If you buy your seeds online, check the closing dates for any early order discounts so that you don’t miss a bargain this month.

Finally . . .  this month’s Top Tip!

Avoid using salt on icy paths and driveways as this can damage adjacent flowers and shrubs. Instead use gritty sand. Not only is this harmless to your plants, but it can be swept up afterwards and re-used at a later date.