Of course, with Christmas drawing closer, we all have numerous other things on our mind besides gardening. There are presents to wrap, food to cook and family to visit, but it’s important that we don’t forget to take care of our gardens! This guide will provide you with the essential garden tasks this January!
Feed the Birds
As frost can damage berries and other fruits and plants, the food supply for birds can be scarce at this time of year and natural water sources can also freeze up. Ensure your bird feeders are kept topped up with nuts and seeds. You should also keep bird baths filled up with fresh water to keep them hydrated. You could also hang up fat balls around the garden to help keep them filled up!
Keep your Plants warm
It might seem obvious that, being outside, your plants will get cold, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be able to withstand the cold temperatures. The most simple way to keep plants warm is to transfer them either into your greenhouse, or into your home. This is only possible if the plants are potted or in a container. For those plants planted directly in the soil, you should add a layer of mulch and compost to the soil to insulate the plants and roots. This is especially important for newly planted plants as their roots will be delicate and especially susceptible to damage.
Check for Rotten Fruit
It’s important to regularly check your trees and bushes for any fruit and berries that might be rotten. Leaving rotten fruit on the plants could cause more damage to the other fruit, meaning you would have less to harvest.
Prepare Next Year’s Plan
Plants should be rotated year after year to help prevent the build-up of diseases in soil and it’s best to beginning planning this as early as possible to avoid any last minutes rushing. When planning your rotation, consider other factors that particular plants require to grow well (for example, sunlight and shelter) before deciding where to plant them.
Protect Plants from Pests
The cold weather can encourage pests, such as mice, rats and garden insects to hide in your plants and bushes for warmth. This is unwanted because it’s likely that, whilst they’re nesting, they’ll take pleasure in nibbling at the plants. To avoid this problem, you should place mice and rat controls around the base of plants (particularly in denser areas) and use insecticide (organic, if possible) to protect against insects.
Harvest your Remaining Winter Vegetables
It would be a shame to waste any winter vegetables that you haven’t yet harvested. Make sure you harvest any remaining ones, and if you can’t use them, give them to family and friends who will be grateful!
Do you have any more recommendations of essential January gardening tasks? Let us know in the comments section!
[Photo Credit: kennysarmy ]