January can have some nice days that allow us to get outside, breath in fresh air, take in some sunshine and get a jumpstart on the beginning of planting season.
- Plan ahead. Work out what to grow where next growing season. Aim to try something new and bear in mind the principles of crop rotation.
- Now is a great time to top up mulches if you haven’t already done so. Add well-rotted manure or garden compost on the soil surface, rake it out the leave for the frost and worms to break down and incorporate. Aim to cover the ground to a depth of at least an inch.
- Prune trees. Winter prune apples and pears, remove any crossing branches then concentrate on the three Ds: dead, damaged and diseased wood.
- Plant fruit. Begin to plant fruit trees, bushes and canes, but only if your soil isn’t saturated or frozen. Mulch around the area after planting.
- Force Rhubarb. Place a forcing pot, bucket or large pot with the drainage holes covered of rhubarb crops to force an earlier crop of tender pale stems.
- Set up new raised beds. January is an excellent time to get those raised beds set up so you can be ready at planting time.
- Order Seeds. Who doesn’t love pursuing seeds. Now is the time to think about the coming season. Check stored seed packets and order fresh seeds in good time to have the best selection as seed varieties lessen as the season goes.
- Order needed supplies. Check over your garden supplies such as tags, labels, twine, supports, fertilizers and pest control and get organized before the busy growing season begins. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you are in the height of the season and there is “one more thing” to do. Being prepared for the coming season makes gardening much more enjoyable and successful!