It's a new year with lots of gardening to do! And while the weather's still cold and there's not much planting to do yet, there are still plenty of jobs to do in the garden.
Use this month to get your garden and your tools ready for spring, in preparation for when the weather gets more gardening-friendly! Read on for a checklist of essential tasks to do in January!
What to do in the garden in January
1. Recycle your Christmas tree
The first gardening job to do this month is to recycle your Christmas tree. Many local councils offer free pick-ups in addition to the usual bin round so check online to see if this service is offered in your area.
2. Service your lawn mower
Next on your January garden checklist is to service your lawn mower. Grass grows slowly over the winter and doesn't generally need to be cut so use this time to get your lawn mower in ship shape for when you need it.
3. Protect trees from hungry rabbits
When there are less herbaceous plants around for them to eat during the winter, rabbits are prone to nibbling at tree bark. Keep them at bay by putting tree guards around young trees (and make sure this goes 30cm below the soil level).
4. Keep putting out food and water for hungry birds
It's easy to lend wildlife a helping hand during the cold winter months and small tasks can make a big difference. Install a bird feeder in your garden to provide an extra source of food for garden wildlife.
5. Clear away soggy leaves, moss and algae
Tidying up is an easy January gardening job and if you keep on top of it, there'll be much less tidying up to do when you want to start proper gardening in the spring. Set aside some time every week or so to clear soggy leaves, moss and algae from paths, decking, patios and steps.
6. Maintain your winter vegetable garden
Onions, shallots, garlic, asparagus and carrots can all be grown over the winter so your vegetable garden doesn't need to be shut down when the cold weather hits. Grow these vegetables over the winter and watch out for frost.
7. Get rid of weeds
Weeding is an important winter gardening task - when other plants have died away, winter is a great time to get rid of weeds. And there'll be much less risk of standing on other plants or new shoots while you do it.
8. Prepare your greenhouse for spring
If you have a greenhouse, an important January garden task is to get it ready for spring. On a warm day, clear your greenhouse of all old plant material that could be harbouring diseases, scrub the floors and the glass, disinfect everything and replenish the soil. This will give you a clean slate to work from in the spring and get rid of any lingering pests.
9. Clean and sharpen your gardening tools
While you're not using your gardening tools over the winter, January is a great month to clean and sharpen them, and get them ready for spring. And of course, if there are any new tools that you need, the January sales are a great time to get them.
10. Plan next year's garden
January is the perfect time to plan what you want to do with your garden next year. Visit garden centres to buy seeds and bulbs for the upcoming season and plan out the gardening tasks that will need to be done in the coming months.