January is a relatively quiet month in the gardening world, as the weather conditions aren’t conducive to plant or grass growth. Don't let this fool you however, there is still plenty to be done in the month of Jan - so get cracking!
Taking Care of Wildlife
January can often be the coldest month of the year. Wildlife will be looking for food and by now, many of the berries and natural food resources have already been exhausted so wildlife will be on the lookout for food – which makes it even more important.
Always make sure you have bird feeders in your garden filled with seeds and nuts. If you are putting out nuts, don’t use coated or salted, and remember to soak stale bread before you leave it out, so it is easier for the wildlife to swallow.
Make sure your bird bath is always topped up with water and not frozen over, January doesn’t have weather that often tempts you to go outside into the garden, so try and make the most of the bright sunny days that sometimes show.
Looking After Your Pond
In January your pond could well be frozen over, preventing air entering the water, suffocating plants and animals.
If your pond is frozen you should resist the urge to smash it, as it could damage your pond lining, any plants underneath and shock any wildlife. To defrost the pond you should pour on some hot water and allow it to slowly melt away the ice.
Preparing for the Year Ahead
1. Browse seed catalogues – January is a great month to start planning what plants and vegetables you want to grow in your garden and where. It’s quite an enjoyable activity and there’s lot of choice! Get your orders in so you’re not left disappointed.
2. Turn your compost – Remember to turn your compost to keep adding oxygen, as this helps the bacteria in your compost to continue working. Poor quality, sticky compost is often the result of insufficient oxygen.
3. Plant your Christmas tree outside – If you bought a rooted or potted tree this year and are planning on throwing it away, think again. You can always try to re-plant your old Christmas tree (if you have the room) and it’s possible it will live to see another year!
4. Brush off snow – Tree branches and shrubs/bushes will become damaged if left covered in snow. Take the time to remove the white sheet to help keep them healthy.
5. Secure furniture. January can be known for high and strong winds, so you should ensure anything that’s ‘loose’ in your garden is secure. Fence posts and panels particularly, and things like young trees and climbing plants should be staked and fastened into place to prevent breakages.
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