Following the year that was, we firstly wish you a Happy New Year! With renewed enthusiasm, it’s time to take a look at our list of January jobs to do around the garden.
We have only just entered winter but thankfully the winter solstice has passed so the days will now be slowly stretching out. So if the short days and cold weather don’t put you off, here is our list of January jobs for you to get cracking on with.
Clean and sharpen your cutting tools
No matter which cutting tools you own, they will inevitably give better service if you keep them in top condition. It is one of those jobs that pays you back, with a quicker, cleaner cut when putting them to work in the coming months.
And right now is a good time to undertake this task, ready for venturing out in the coming months.
To clean your blades, start by scraping off any leaf resin and gunk left over from last year’s pruning. You may need to rinse your blades using a washing up liquid solution, and apply a little elbow grease with a scrubbing brush or wire wool. Make sure the tools are thoroughly dry afterwards, to prevent rusting.
Next sharpen the blades on your secateurs, snips, shears and scissors, using a whetstone to bring the edge back.
Soak the whetstone in water for five minutes, until no bubbles are coming from the stone. Holding your tools with blades open, push the stone forwards along the blade with a little downward pressure. On well maintained tools, this should be repeated between ten and twenty times, you may need to work them a little longer if they’ve been neglected. Turn the blade over and repeat this step five times to complete the task.
Tidy up bamboo plants
If we’re lucky enough to have fine weather, it’s a good time to tidy up your bamboo plants. First remove any stems that have died back and any that don’t look their best. Then remove lower foliage to reveal the beautiful canes, lift the plant and create that elegant look.
If you are looking to plant bamboo, then you will need to wait until April to do so.
This can be one of the hardest months for wildlife in the garden, so any assistance you can provide will be very welcome. A well placed bird feeder will see small birds fluttering in in an almost non stop basis, and you may see field mice gathering up any seed that has been dropped.
Sunflower hearts work well for the smaller birds, and look for a squirrel proof feeder to give the birds the best chance of tucking in undisturbed. You can also consider placing fat balls out as a high energy food at this time of year.
Finally, make sure that water is available and not frozen over.
An overriding factor here is that if you keep chickens, ducks, gees or any other kind of birds, then in order to avoid avian flu you are advised not to encourage wild birds.
Take time to relax
This one is not a job as such, but a reward for all the hard work that you do. Find your favourite spot in the garden and take out a cup of your preferred hot drink.
Take time to admire your garden, think of any changes that you are looking to undertake this year and what you need to do to achieve that. Take notes to help you later when the time comes to implement those changes.
You should also take a few minutes to admire those birds visiting your garden.
I feed the pigeons, I sometimes feed the sparrows too
It gives me a sense of enormous well-being
And then I’m happy for the rest of the day safe in the knowledge there will always be a bit of my heart devoted to it
Hit the Internet
Having given thought to any changes you want to make during the Spring, now is the time to hit the internet to refine those ideas. You could watch videos on YouTube as a start, and then search for any items you need to buy.
Get out there
Well, that’s it for January jobs in the garden. We hope that our list encourages your New Year’s enthusiasm and gets you out in the garden!