Jobs For January

Here's a few ideas at what you could be doing this month...

Top Tip - Get potatoes on the go...

Home grown potatoes are a taste sensation, far better in flavour than any spuds available to buy in shops. To enjoy your own, snap up some seed potatoes – miniature tubers – for planting in pots or the ground.

Before planting, encourage them to form shoots using a technique known as chitting. Place individual tubers in the empty cups of an egg carton, making sure the rose end is facing upwards – this is the area marked with a cluster of ‘eyes’.

Place the carton in a cool, light, dry place for about six weeks until they have produced lots of 2.5cm long, stubby green shoots. Avoid putting them in a warm, dark place or you’ll end up with lots of spindly white shoots that will snap off easily.

If you’ve never grown potatoes before, try The Complete Starter Patio Potato Growing Kit. It contains everything you need to raise the perfect crop: 3 varieties, 3 pots and a carton of organic potato fertiliser. All you need to do is add compost!

Beds and Borders

• Plant bare root roses, shrubs and fruit to allow them time to establish before flowering or fruiting this summer.
• Begin to plant lily bulbs now for displays this spring - we highly recommend the tremendous Jumbo 'Skyscraper' Lily for incredible towers of flowers!

In the Kitchen Garden

• Cut back all stems of autumn fruiting raspberry plants to ground level.
• Rewrite fading plant labels in the herb garden before names fade during rain and snow.
• Order vegetable seeds and organise varieties by their sowing date.
• Prune apple and pear trees whilst still dormant over the winter but leave other fruits such as plums and cherries unpruned until the summer to avoid silver leaf infections.

Undercover gardening

• Open greenhouse doors and vents once a day to allow fresh air to circulate.
• Keep house plants in good shape by snipping off dead flowers and tatty foliage
• Check indoor plants for sap-sucking mealy bugs and scale insects. Control with Provado Ultimate Bug Killer.

Around your garden

• Comb your hand through soft leaved ornamental grasses to remove dead or dying foliage.
• Remove decaying plants and old leaves from ponds by twirling it out with a garden cane.
• Tie in wayward shoots of climbing plants to prevent damage by wind.
• Keep off lawns in frosty weather.
• Remove ice from bird baths and top up with fresh water.

Don't forget...

• Recycle your Christmas tree by turning into compost, shredding into mulch or remove the branches and use to lay over the soil of tender plants to keep roots warm.
• Keep off lawns in frosty weather to avoid damaging grass.
• Remove ice from bird baths and top up with fresh water.

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