January is a quiet time in the garden but have a look back at our November and December Guides to check you haven’t missed any important jobs from earlier in the year. It is important to stay off waterlogged ground as you will compact your lawn and flowerbeds. If it’s a dry January then there are jobs to be getting on with but if it’s wet it may be worth staying indoors until next month.
Keep paths, steps, driveways and patios clear from leaves. This is important so that the surfaces don’t become slippery, if they do you may need to treat them with a chemical to kill off the algae or moss. Prevention is better than cure so five minutes with a broom each week can save you money, harmful chemicals and give you some outdoor exercise which is good for body and mind.
If there is snow, brush it off fragile plants as the extra weight can snap branches easily.
Empty and clean water-butts so that water isn’t full of algae for next season. Check the forecast before you start as you don’t want a load of water freezing on your paths and patio.
Trays and pots can be cleaned ready for use.
Cut down flowering perennials to ground level.
Fleece or netting should be used to protect vulnerable plants from severe frost.
Tree ties and stakes should be checked for loosening.
Bird baths and feeders should be cleaned and re-filled regularly and ice melted if it has frozen.
Provide wildlife with a safe winter haven. Historically we have thought of all bugs as pests but pollinating insects are in rapid decline. Put up bug houses, pile up a mini log pile and leave some dead leaves on foliage. Feed birds regularly if you are able and leave out water for them in a birdbath, accessible pond or bowl. If cats are an issue, make sure you feed up out of their reach or remove their hiding places.