Spring is just around the corner and it’s time to start gardening again. Yes, in Ireland according to the Irish Calendar based on the Gregorian calendar, our Spring starts in February,
“Anois teacht an Earraigh beidh an lá ag dul chun shíneadh,
Is tar eis na féil Bríde ardóigh mé mo sheol”
So, it’s time to start thinking about your gardening plans for the year. Gardening is great therapy in January and kick starts your outdoor activities. On a clear, crisp winter’s day, there’s nothing nicer than getting outside for a couple of hours gardening and here are some of the garden jobs you could start in January.
Provided the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged, now is the ideal time to plant shrubs, trees and hedging.
- Cut back any remaining perennials that have gone soggy and clear the debris away, so it doesn’t shelter slugs and snails. Cut back the flower heads of ornamental grasses if winter rains have damaged them.
- January’s a good time to give wisteria its winter pruning. Cut back last year’s summer shoots to 2-3 buds from the main framework and in a few months, you should have a wisteria smothered in flowers.
- Prune roses now while they are dormant. Remove all spindly or crossing branches and dead wood, then cut back the remaining branches by a third, using a sloping cut just above a bud so that rainwater runs off the cut, away from the bud.
- Deadhead winter pansies for a second flush of flowers in spring.
- Remove any yellowing leaves from Brussels sprouts, kale and other brassicas, as these can harbour pests and diseases.
- If you are planning on sowing early peas, warm the ground now by placing fleece or cloches over it for a few weeks.
- Cut off last year’s old hellebore leaves so that you can see the flowers better. This also prevents the spread of diseases like hellebore black spots.
- Clean pots and greenhouses, ready for this year’s seedlings and cuttings.
- Check stored dahlia and begonia bulbs to make sure they are not drying out. Throw out any that are showing signs of rotting.
- Food is scarce for birds at this time of year, so keep your bird feeders and baths topped up.
- Prune apple and pear trees now, as well as blackcurrants, gooseberries and redcurrants.
- Put a bucket or large bin over rhubarb crowns to force them, giving you tender pink stems in a couple of months.
- Keep off the lawn when it’s frosty or covered in snow, as walking on frozen grass will damage it.
- Not all gardening jobs need to be done outdoors in the cold. While things are quiet outdoors in January, spend some time just looking at your garden and planning what to plant this year.
So, make this year your best gardening year yet. And whatever you need for your garden, whether its tools, seeds or plants, you’ll find them all at Vokes Adare, Curragh Chase Garden Centre or D & M Garden Centre.
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