Gardening by Month - January

 

Why not make a project of the garden this year? It’s a great way to keep fit and lift your spirits, and with regular effort, you’ll have a garden to be proud of. The ‘little and often’ approach can bring good results, so make a start on a dry day in January.

If you have an overgrown apple tree, now is a good time to prune unwanted growth. Remove dead or diseased branches and aim for a good shape and to allow each branch to get plenty of light. Take out all the upright new growth as these rarely produce a good crop. Concentrate the energy of the plant to the more horizontal branches.

A favourite flowering shrub is the camellia, with colours from white through to soft pink and deep red. Camellias are woodland shrubs, so they do well in partial shade. They have glossy evergreen leaves and are one of the few plants to give a splash of late winter and early spring colour.

Camellias are easy to care for, but bear in mind they are ericaceous (acid-loving). If you don’t have acid soil, put them in a pot or container of ericaceous soil. They prefer rainwater to tap water and they benefit from a regular ericaceous feed. You can get ericaceous soil and feed from Garsons.

When planting a shrub, give it a long soak first. If your soil is heavy, add horticultural grit to help with drainage. Once planted, firm in your new plant to stop it moving around in high winds. Keep it watered during dry spells, but avoid watering in frosty weather as you might freeze the roots.

Garsons has a good selection of dormant trees, shrubs and perennials ready to fill gaps in borders or to make features of in containers.

Lastly, remember to give birds and other wildlife an unfrozen water source and high energy food such as seed mixes, peanuts and suet balls to help them through the leaner months.

Until next month, happy gardening.

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