More Jobs for the January Garden
Make sure you feed the birds this winter. Even in cold weather, water is important for all our native birds so as well as laying on food you may want to consider opening a drinks bar. They aren’t too fussy – a simple bird bath will do the trick and they won’t turn their beaks up at an old dustbin lid. Just make sure it’s kept clean and unfrozen and enjoy watching them splashing about. In freezing weather, when they can’t get water from an alternative source, this is a very important job.
Attracting wild birds into your garden is not only very rewarding but also supports wildlife conservation and helps reverse the declining trend in the populations of once common species. Our gardens are becoming a vital component in the wider conservation effort.
If you enjoy raising plants from seed, you can begin sowing them by the end of this month. Provided they are kept in a sunny, frost-free environment they will get off to a flying start. No matter how long you’ve been gardening, raising your own plants from seed is very satisfying. To get seeds such as tomatoes and tender bedding plants to germinate they will need some heat, which is where a propagator is so useful. There is quite a selection available and the investment should pay back as you can save money on buying bedding plants later in the year.
Wisterias require winter pruning by the end of February at the latest. With no leaves on the plants you can see exactly what needs to be pruned. Shorten all the shoots back to two or three buds from the main stem. This encourages new flowers to give a spectacular display in the spring. Virginia creepers, valued for their autumn foliage colour, have a habit of working their way into window frames, doors and gutters so cut them back hard now to save damage being done. They grow back quickly so don’t be gentle with them!