Digging should by this time have in the main been completed and if not would be best dealt with without delay. All garden tools can be cleaned thoroughly and oiled so that when the busy season arrives everything will be found to be in good condition. If the mower or shears need either overhauling or re-setting get them down to your local dealer early before the spring rush begins and service delayed.
Check that enough labels, string, stakes, flower pots and boxes are to hand and if not replenish stocks.
Any part of the garden which is to have a new flower border made must be well dug over and all other borders forked over to allow the air to penetrate down through the. Borders needing re-shaping can be attended to now as this is the best time to move perennials to new positions. Catalogues for spring and summer planting should be sent for and a little time spent in the evenings deciding carefully the best purchases to make.
Ground which is to receive bedding plants in the spring can be well manured to give the soil enough nourishment for the growing season.
Protectand peonies during the frosty weather by sifting a quantity of ash in a thick layer around the plants. As soon as new growth begins, can be pruned as desired but in the case of certain clematis it would be wiser to await some good strong shoots as earlier it is rather difficult to distinguish between dead and living wood.
Very little can be done for the lawn at this time of the year except that all leaves and rubbish should be brushed off the surface, keeping walking to a minimum if the lawn surface is frozen.
Trees and Shrubs
Both evergreen and deciduous shrubs can be planted if this has not already been done earlier and if the weather is dry following the planting of evergreens, spray the leaves each evening for a week or two until the newly planted shrub can take up enough water to prevent the foliage from drying out.
Any pruning necessary to deciduous shrubs should be attended to now and an attempt can be made to root some of the prunings. This may not be successful but nevertheless is well worth a try.
Prune any unwanted growth from hedges of beech, privet or hawthorn.
After heavy falls of snow shake as much as possible from the branches of evergreens as the extra weight can easily break the branches.
Autumn planted roses must be checked to see that they have not been loosened by the frost and if this has happened they should be made firm again. Planting of new roses can be made during this month provided the weather is favourable and the soil prepared for roses ordered for delivery during February and March.
Thoroughly clean out the greenhouse this month, brushing down all the shelves and staging and disposing of any litter that can harbour insects. Remove dead leaves from plants left in the greenhouse during the winter and burn them.
Although January is basically a cold month the house should receive ventilation during the middle part of the clay, but be closed tightly as night approaches.
Flower pots and seed boxes should be washed or cleaned out in readiness for the planting season.
Bulbs already planted in pots for early flowering must be kept watered.
Seeds of freesias,and sweet may be sown, and dahlia tubers which have been stored indoors during the winter should be moved into the warm so that plenty of new can be obtained by dividing the shooting tubers.
which have been dormant during the winter can now be re-started and watered moderately.
Geranium cuttings which have become well rooted can now be re-potted for spring growth.
Winter pruning of the hardier kinds of fruit (apples etc.) should be looked after this month. This group does not however include cherries or peaches.
The main stems of old fruit trees must be cleaned of any dead loose bark which will harbour insects, and then lime-washed.
Raspberry canes may now be checked over to see that they are tied securely to their supports where necessary. Add a layer of strawy manure around the strawberry plants.
If a new soft fruit garden is being planned it is advisable to grow all types together in one plot. Building a cage of either soft netting on supports as a temporary measure, or a more permanent one constructed with good strong poles and covered with small mesh wire and tall enough to walk under easily will help to save a great deal of fruit from hungry birds. However attractive birds may be there is no doubt that they can quickly ruin a crop of soft fruit and the money spent on constructing a fruit cage will be soon repaid in fruit saved. Whenever possible put some food and water out for the birds at this time of year and this will also help to discourage them from eating precious fruit buds.
Plantand peas under glass for an early supply which will be ready long before those sown directly into the open ground later.
Old roots and plant waste must be cleared from the vegetable plot and if found to be disease free can be added to theheap. However, if there are signs of insects present it should be burned and the ash saved for digging in.
If the weather is mild a sowing of early lettuces can be made under glass.
Plantcrowns this month and arrange seed in shallow trays, ends uppermost, indoors and away from any possibility of frost damage. They will soon shoot in readiness for planting.