What to do in the garden in January

Wrap up warm and get outside. These easy tasks will get your garden off to the best start possible.
Image source: Debra Anderson

January is a cold and quiet month in the garden – the perfect opportunity to plan your gardening year ahead. 

Plants and Flowers

Dead-head your pansies to keep them blooming throughout the winter months
Image source: Sarah121
    • January is the time to start pruning wisteria cutting back all the side-shoots pruned last summer. Cut these shoots to within 2 or 3 buds of the main framework.
    • Clear up your perennial borders by cutting down any old dead stems to make way for new growth. Take care not to cut into any new growth.
    • Plant bare-root roses now, choosing a position in full sun for the best flowering. You can also prune your roses now. For more advice about roses, including climbing roses take a look at our ‘How to grow roses’ article.
    • Keep dead-heading your winter pansies to stop them setting seed and to encourage more flowers.
    • Continue to plant trees and shrubs – unless the soil is waterlogged or has frozen solid! Click here for more advice about planting trees and shrubs.

    Fruit and Veg

    Egg boxes are perfect for chitting potatoes in
    Image source: J Davidson
      • Start chitting your first early potatoes by placing them in a cool, bright but frost-free place. To find out more about growing potatoes in containers or in the ground take a look at our article on how to grow your own potatoes.
      • Force rhubarb plants by covering the crown with a bucket. This will produce tender pink stems ready for eating in about 8 weeks’ time.
      • Make sure you prune your apple trees and pear trees while they are still dormant.

    Garden Maintenance

    It looks pretty, but snow can crack a glass greenhouse roof if left to build up
    Image source: V J Matthew
    • Keep an eye on any fruits, vegetables or flower tubers in storage and remove any that are rotting. One rotten item could spoil the whole crop!
    • Brush off heavy snow from your hedges and conifers to prevent branches snapping or becoming misshapen. Also brush snow off your greenhouse roof to prevent the glass cracking.
    • Make sure you order asparagus crowns, potatoesonion sets, and fruit trees online now in time for spring planting.
  • What jobs do you like to tick off your list in January? Let us know in the comments below, or share them with us over on our Facebook page.
Van Meuwen

Author: Van Meuwen

Horticultural mail order specialists. Working hard to bring you the best quality well-established plants as well as exciting new varieties.

7 thoughts on “What to do in the garden in January”

  1. I have moved to a flat with a balcony which gets morning sun. What would be the best flowering plants to grow up the wall on a trellis?

    1. Hello. Clematis, Jasmine, and Trachelospermum would make good choices. Whatever climber you choose, it would be a good idea to try to create some shelter from prevailing winds as balconies do tend to be breezier than at ground level and this can scorch the foliage of your plants.

  2. My garden is very wet at the best of times and due to the above average rainfall in my area it is now very boggy. What is the best thing to correct this.

    1. Hello. The best way is to improve drainage. Digging in plenty of grit and organic matter will help. In very wet areas, you may need to create a run off channel to divert excessive amounts of water away to a nearby drain. Keeping the garden well stocked with plants will help. Choose plants that enjoy boggy and damp conditions as these will flourish and naturally use up some of the excess water in the soil. Unfortunately there is no quick and easy option.
      All the best

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