Winter garden welliesStill feeling a little fuzzy-headed after all the festive over-indulgence? Then wrap up warm and head out to the garden to clear your head. It’s cheaper than a gym membership, too – unless you get ‘carried away’ in the garden centre.

Here’s a few suggestions for activities you can do this month that will gently ease you into the new year and out of your armchair – possibly.

The weather…

frost on leavesWe love to talk about it, and this year the weather in December has set record temperatures and cheated us of those lovely wintry frosts. However, January still tends to be among the coldest months of the year, with more likelihood of gales, rain, frost and snow, so now’s the time to make sure that plants are protected.

Check stakes and fleece coverings to make sure they are secure. Ventilate the greenhouse on clear, bright days but make sure it’s ‘battened down’ in the bad weather.

Check on stored tubers like dahlias, to make sure they are not too cold or damp.

recycle xmas treeTidying up…

You can trim and cut the edges of lawns and beds now, to give a crisp shape to borders.

Recycle your Christmas tree.

Wash/ brush down patio areas to remove algae, slime and general debris.

Plant care…winter fruit tree

Prune apples and pears this month. See the link here for more information.

You can prune roses this month and also plant bear-root stock out.

If you haven’t already you can continue to cut back herbaceous perennials such as sedums, but be careful of the new growth at the base.

winter dogwoodCut back diseased or dying stems of colourful willow and dogwood to promote an open shape.

Remove winter pansy flowers that have faded and remove hellebore leaves that are browning, to allow light and air around the plants.

Vegetables…

winter forced rhubarbStart chitting early potatoes by placing them in a bright, cool position, standing on one end.

You could also try growing your own mushrooms, while you wait for the warmer weather to arrive. See the link here for more information.

Prune blackcurrents, redcurrents and gooseberries to provide an open framework.

Begin forcing rhubarb crowns by covering them with a bucket or pot.

Lastly…

Enjoy the more leisurely pace of these late winter months – before we know there will be too much to do in the garden and not enough time!