January Gardening Tips 2022
As we set foot into 2022 I do hope it will prove to be a good year for you.
Spring is on the way, promising new beginnings, opportunities and life. But until then it is time for a good old fashioned list. Planning is what January is for in gardening terms, mixed with a good dollop of temptation in the form of all the fabulous summer flowering bulbs, corms and tubers that arrive in the garden centres. It may be too early to plant them just yet, but it is never too soon to dream of warm summer days and the sheer blast of colour offered by lilies, dahlias, chrysanthemums, gladioli and a host of other glamorous subjects.
In an armchair moment – plan garden makeovers, structural projects and major planting schemes. We are contemplating cutting a new vegetable bed. Seed catalogues litter our house as we decide what to propagate this coming year.
In more active moments, if colder weather is on the way it is worth insulating outside taps with some bubble wrap, foam or even an old jumper. Patio pots also benefit from a little insulting hug, not just to protect the pot from frost damage but to keep the plant roots a little more snug too. To prevent damage to your lawn try to avoid standing or walking on frosted grass.
Protect the buds of magnolias and camelias from the worst frost. Although these shrubs are perfectly hardy, the flower buds and flowers themselves can be damaged by frost. Check that tree stakes and ties are serviceable and climbers tied in properly to avoid wind rock which can damage roots and shoots. Fruit trees, bushes and canes can be treated to some sulphate of potash and a good mulch.
I rather enjoy raking up fallen leaves. It is really therapeutic to see the difference it makes to a lawn or path. Add the leaves to the compost bin, they improve compost no end.
Buy seed potatoes and chit them by placing them in a box or some egg cartons in a cool, frost- free spot with good natural light. Choose varieties you like to eat. We usually go for a succession of first earlies, earlies and main crop. Pink Fir Apple is a particular family favourite for boiling and salads. Look after our feathered friends with food and water, especially during cold snaps.
I also hope you have time to enjoy the beauty of the garden in winter, from frosted boughs and seed heads to coloured stems of Cornus and early flowers of Hamamelis, Mahonia and Viburnum bodnantense. Look out for the first shoots of spring flowering bulbs as they emerge from the soil and even the rain drops dripping from twigs and branches have their own charm – from under an ample coat and hood or from inside a warm house anyway.
I wish you all good things for 2022.