More Maintenance Jobs for the January Garden
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. Sweet pea seeds can be sown this month on a windowsill to get them off to a great start in spring. They have a long root run so it’s best to sow them in special sweet-pea tubes filled with peat-free compost. To help with germination soak them in water the day before sowing.
The lawn mower won’t be needed this month so why not get ahead of the crowd and take it in for a service this month? If you leave it until spring lawn repair shops will take much longer and generally charge more because they are so busy.
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!