The First Garden Jobs for the New Year
All gardens need a little maintenance throughout the year, and in the winter that includes planning for the year ahead, checking boundaries and pruning.
Although the garden might be the last place you want to be in winter, there are plenty of jobs which you could and should be doing early in the New Year to ensure all your horticultural dreams come true in the months ahead.
Plan the Year Ahead
January is a good time of year to start planning a new garden or review your existing one. Think about every aspect of your garden, including wall breaks and barriers, garden furniture, new beds and borders.
Work out what you want to plant and where and order any seeds or bulbs that you can start planting in the spring.
If your soil isn’t particularly fertile, you can improve its quality by buying our exclusive garden compost and soil conditioners for the garden. Tony’s Tonic is a well-rotted manure that acts as a great winter mulch and Denise’s Delight, a rich blend of soil and compost ideal for use in raised beds. Both products will give your plants a boost and a greater chance of thriving. Tony’s Tonic is a form of compost that can be spread over the soil and is also great for growing roses.
Check Your Boundaries
The winter often means the worst of the weather including snow, ice and rain. If you do have any snow, it may leave everything looking dishevelled. This is a good time to replace or re-attach any loose panels, roofs, posts and fences and create windbreaks to protect plants.
The first thing to do is check all your main garden boundaries including any fences and walls that scale the perimeter of your garden. Make sure they haven’t been damaged by high winds and heavy rain. You can fix fences with bits of wire netting, to keep them sturdy all year-round.
Your hedges can also be affected by the bad weather, especially any heavy snowfall. Brush off any snow or ice as soon as possible. An effective way of protecting any vulnerable hedges, where necessary, is to cover them in protective wrapping and apply a thick layer of mulch at the base, to prevent the foliage from going brown. The thick layer of mulch will help to hydrate the plants and keep them warm.
There’s Still Some Pruning to Do
January is an appropriate time for tidying your garden and getting some pruning done. Apples and pear trees should be cut back now while they are still dormant. You can recycle your cut trees by shredding them for mulch or compost ready for the spring. Rose bushes should also be cut back to just above the buds and any dead branches removed.
Climbers such as wisteria and ivy will also need to be pruned and cut back to prevent any damage to walls and other nearby plants. This applies to all shrubs before the sap starts to rise and the buds break. Something else to remember is to cut down flowering perennials to ground level, which will help them flourish in the warmer months.
Feed the Birds
It’s important to put additional food and water out throughout the year, but particularly in the winter, to help make a significant contribution to supporting wildlife over the winter. Birds are every gardener’s best friend, as they help the local eco-system to thrive, assist with the pollination of plants and deter pests which can destroy your glorious garden. This will also help attract a wide variety of birds such as finches, robins to your garden and encourage those species which have not migrated to stick around.
Leave out bird tables and feeders at adjustable heights and place them in sheltered locations out of the most severe winds.
You may also want to keep some areas of your garden wild and undisturbed to ensure there are plentiful supplies of insects for the birds to feed on in the winter months. Birds will appreciate nuts, seeds and fat balls left out for them this winter.
Clean Your Tools
Cleaning your tools may not the most glamorous of jobs, but you need to be sure when the weather does improve you are ready for work in the garden. Remove all mud and leaves from spades, forks and rakes and oil from moving parts.
All pots, water butts and greenhouses should also be kept clean and clear of any debris. If you have any decorative plant pots that are not frost-proof, then empty them of soil and store them in your shed or greenhouse.
Ordering Your Outdoor Gardening Supplies from Madingley Mulch
Madingley Mulch are based in Cambridge and can meet all your gardening needs. We are leading suppliers of compost, garden mulch, soil conditioners, fence supplies and trellis fencing to customers in Hertfordshire, Essex, Suffolk and Bedfordshire. To see our full range of products, click here.
Any online orders can be delivered free to destinations within 15 miles of our base on the edge of Cambridge, and there is a standard £20 charge for all destinations within 24.5 miles. Every week our delivery routes go to Ely, Cherry Hinton, Newmarket, Huntingdon, St Ives, Duxford and the surrounding areas.
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