January Top Tip

It may be chilly outside so it is tempting to forget about the garden at this time of the year but, if you wrap up warm you can enjoy a bright, crisp winter’s day in the garden and get on with some of those jobs that are waiting

General tasks:

Protect vulnerable plants. This can be done by moving pots to a more sheltered spot, cold frame or greenhouse. In the beds and borders use cloches or horticultural fleece to help keep out the cold.

Beds & Borders:

Fill gaps in your spring display with ready-potted bulbs from the garden centre. Snowdrops, daffodils and muscari are all available
Help your Hellebores. Remove old leaves from hellebores to make the flowers more visible as they emerge and prevent disease.

Buy in summer bulbs such as cannas and gladioli to grow on indoors for now – they’re a highlight of the summer garden.

Vegetable garden:

Chitting Potatos. A job for indoors on a wet day?

Chitting means sprouting the tuber. This is easily done by placing the tuber with the most eyes upward, in a light, cool but frost-free place at about 50F (10C). The important fact is ‘cool but frost-free’ too warm and the sprouts will stretch too cold and they may not grow at all.

A porch or greenhouse are ideal as long as they don’t get frosted.

Pot up onion sets in roomy modules to grow on under cover until March when you can plant them out as sturdy seedlings.

Grow microgreens on your windowsills: sow radishes, peas, chard or kale thickly on damp kitchen paper and snip into salads at 5cm high.

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