While January is not a traditionally busy gardening season, MOLLY MAID, the professional cleaning company, believes that just like keeping on top of housework and cleaning, there are still some gardening tasks that need to be done!
- So, when the weather allows, carry on clearing paths of moss and leaves in January.
- After heavy snowfall, gently brush snow off conifers and hedges to stop the weight forcing them apart.
- If you have a chance, pack the branches of tender trees and shrubs with straw and secure with fleece to protect them from the cold; thick dry mulches will also protect roots from freezing conditions.
- Lay old carpeting or something similar over cold frames to protect them (if you haven't done so) and check the insulation in greenhouses and that heaters are working properly.
- Clean and repair your garden tools, book the lawn mower in for a service and check garden furniture for any rot.
- When it is warm enough to brave the elements, treat sheds, fences and lattice with wood preservative; brushes and rollers are fine for most things, however a sprayer is well worth buying for tricky projects such as woven panels!
- When soil conditions allow, continue to dig over beds and borders, incorporating as much organic matter as you can. Forking over not only helps prepare the soil for spring, it helps reduce pests by exposing them to hungry birds.
- Weeds – sadly many will survive the cold weather so once the soil is workable, hoe weeds away before they leap into action in the spring.
- Take care not to let leaves accumulate around alpines – they will die if left damp for too long. Cover bare patches around clumps with gritty compost to encourage regrowth.