Published: 13 January 2014
The January Checklist
Ed Gent provides a useful checklist for some jobs that can be carried out in the garden during January.
Getting an early start on the vegetable patch is good, but with the low temperatures and wet ground conditions it can be very difficult. So cover an area of ground with a sheet of heavy polythene weighed down with some bricks to hold it in place. This will work in two ways; firstly, it will stop the soil from getting to wet and secondly will start the warming up process ready for early sowing.

Finish off digging any vacant areas of soil that have not already been dug adding in some organic matter as you go e.g. garden compost, manure etc. However, if the soil is to wet you will need to wait until it has dried out enough so you don’t damage the structure to much.


Continue to remove weeds like groundsel and chickweed, these will still manage to grow and set seed during the cold winter months.

If you have not already completed your seed order, you still have time to send it off to the supplier, or you could take a trip to the local garden centre to look though their selections.
If like me, you managed to store your surplus apples & pears you need to check them over regularly and remove any which are starting to turn bad, these can be put into the compost heap.

Start forcing your rhubarb to get some nice early sticks you can do this by covering the crown with a large pot or bucket this will keep the light out.
Check around all of your plants and trees, which have supporting stakes, check these are ok, re-stake and tie if required.

Keep the wild bird feeders all topped up with fresh food, check that their water supply is ok and not frozen solid this will help them survive the cold weather we are having now.

If like me, your garden is a more open site check that your rabbit fencing and guards are in good order; this will cut down on the risk of the rabbits attacking any of your winter crops for food.
Inspect all your stored tubers e.g. cannas, dahlias etc for any signs of rot which may have happened, and remove any rotten ones to the compost heap. Make sure the storage area is frost free to prevent damage to the tubers.

Reported by Ed Gent  

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