January Gardening Jobs
I’m sure that your gardens are looking rather bare now that you have taken down all of the festive Christmas decorations. Here are a few options for you to prepare your garden for all of your 2018 gardening jobs and to ensure that it looks tidy and up-to-date.
Remove slippery surfaces
Throughout the Winter, the bad weather and seasonal change can result in slime and algae covering your paving slabs. This can cause a hazard due to the surface being extremely slippery, particularly when wet. Hose down any patio and paving areas and scrub them well with a brush to remove any dirty. Please take extra care when standing on slippery surfaces.
In addition, the harsh Winter weather can cause greenhouse glass to become dirty and gloomy, therefore we recommend carefully cleaning off any dirt from easily accessible areas.
Pruning is the process of cutting away any dead or overgrown branches to maintain healthy growth to shrubs or trees. It is a key gardening skill that will provide excellent results if done carefully.
Simply work your way around the tree, trimming any overgrown branches or cutting areas where growth is overcrowding. Try to keep the pruning even (aiming to cut around 10-20% of the overall canopy), as it will stimulate a stronger regrowth.
Apple and Pear trees can be pruned at this time of the year, however it is advised that you prevent pruning any Plum, Cherry and Apricot trees, as it can stimulate Silver Leaf Infections to occur.
Please take extra care when using sharp tools to prune and be careful handling sharp branches.
Food supply can be difficult to find during the cold months for bird species in particular. You can encourage birds to feed in your garden by following some simple steps.
- Hang bird feeders out in your garden. These will not only be useful for the birds, but will also act as an accessory for your garden!
- Provide grain mix and nuts.
- Create your own fat blocks by melting suet into moulds.
- Provide peanut cakes.
- Spread chunks of ripe apple or raisins in your garden for.
- Place food in wire mesh placed close to the ground as this will benefit ground-feeding birds such as Robins.
Plan your crop rotation
Crop rotation is growing annual vegetable crops on a different plot of land each year. By rotating your crops and preventing growing them in the same place, the quality of your soil will improve.
The nutrients that are added into your soil will improve the fertility of your soil. Crop rotation causes a decline in the build up of crop specific pests in a certain area, therefore improving the quality of your crops. Some crops with properties such as large leaves, like potatoes, can contribute to suppress weed growth.
Simply mark out the sites where you would like to grow certain crops and plan your crop rotation before the season begins. You can grow many crops in your garden and rotate them each year. These may include: Runner beans, Lettuce, Sweetcorn, Courgettes, Pumpkins and Cucumbers. You can divide your plot into different areas for Potatoes, Legumes (peas and broad beans) and an area for Onions and Garlic, then rotate each year. To view our ProBlend Vegetable & Fruit Topsoil, click here. It is perfect for growing top quality crops as it is organic rich, fertile and contains necessary nutrients for healthy crop growth.
Throughout the harsh winter, ponds may have frozen over and turned into ice. You can do a few simple checks to ensure that your fish and wildlife are protected under the iced surface. Monitor the water level in your pond, ensuring that the levels have not dropped considerably and that liners have not developed a hole or a leak. You can use a pond heater to try and melt some of the thick ice on the top layer of the water. Please ensure that you do not crack the ice because this may harm any fish under the water. Carefully remove any fallen leaves and material.
Please take extra care when working around a frozen pond. Do not stand or lean over the top of the water, as ice can crack easily.
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