What to do in JANUARY

               and try these websites for more help and guidance   






Continue to harvest winter cabbage, Brussels sprouts and leeks as they mature.


Gently brush any snow from shrubs and trees to prevent branches bending and breaking.

Try forcing rhubarb by applying a layer of straw and covering with tall pots or tubs to exclude the light. This produces long tender pink shoots that will be ready several weeks earlier than normal.


Sow sweet peas in cold frames for planting out in May. Pinch out sweet pea seedlings that were sown in autumn once they have grown to 10 cm (4 inch) to encourage branching.

Sow onions for showing in pots.


Plant out hyacinth and narcissi bulbs that have finished flowering indoors.

Prepare your bean trench now and fill it with plenty of well rotted manure.


Order plants and bulbs for spring planting. See Dobies' discounts.

In mild areas sow early peas and broad beans under cloches.


Cut the side shoots of wisteria, which has been partially cut back in July, to leave just two or three buds.

Protect root vegetables still in the ground under a layer of dry straw or newspaper.


Start cutting back grasses and other perennials left for their winter interest.




Inspect all apples and pears for canker. Cut out any affected tissue and paint the wound with a suitable canker paint.


Broken lawn edges not repaired in the autumn can be patched when the lawn is dry.

Spray all fruit trees and bushes with a tar-oil winter wash.


Avoid walking on the lawn when it is covered in snow to prevent damage.

Peach and nectarine trees flower very early in the year and so need protection from frost. They are best kept outdoors until late December and then moved into an unheated greenhouse.


If the grass is growing during mild winter spells, it can be cut when it is dry with the mower blades set high. This will prevent it being overgrown by spring.

Dig the soil in preparation for strawberry planting. Mix in plenty of well-rotted manure.


Weather permitting, continue to spike the turf to improve drainage and aeration.

Check ties on trees and adjust if necessary to prevent restricting growth.


If not already done, have lawn mowers and strimmers serviced now ready for the spring.




Sow early cauliflowers in gentle heat in the greenhouse to be ready for planting in March.


Sharp sand can be used on icy paths, and when swept up, can be used in the garden to improve drainage.

Towards the end of January, sow seeds of begonia, lobelia, salvia and pelargonium in a heated greenhouse or propagator to provide early plants.


Continue to sweep up any fallen leaves that have accumulated and add them to the compost heap. Take care not to disturb any hibernating hedgehogs.

Ventilate the greenhouse carefully avoiding draughts on the plants.


Keep food and water provided for the birds clear of snow and ice.