Mantis’s January gardening calendar provides all of the information you need to care for your garden in the New Year. You will find everything from general gardening tips, lawn care advice, fruit and vegetable care, plus much more.
Lawn Care in January
Clear the lawn – The main job at this time of year is to keep your lawn clear of leaves and other debris such as worm casts to prevent moss and weeds from getting a hold. Just brush them off the grass onto the borders or collect the leaves for mulching/composting.
Service your garden machinery now – This a good time to get this done whilst you are not using it as much and it will be ready to go in the spring. Mantis customers can find parts and service support online.
January is a great time to lay turf – So long as the ground is not frozen, it’s a good time of year to do this. However, delay filling in depressions in the lawn with top soil until the growing season as any material laid on the lawn at this time of year will just sit there until the spring.
Avoid walking on your lawn – When it is covered in frost keep off the grass as walking on it will damage it.
Garden Care in January
What to plant – There are plants that you can sow undercover this month, such as geraniums, begonias, antirrhinum (snap dragons) and sweet peas. They can then be planted out in the early spring.
Protect your vulnerable shrubs – If you have rhododendrons, azalea or citrus trees, cover them in netting or fleece to protect them from the frost.
Dig over your beds – In readiness for the growing season, digging over your flower and vegetable beds will help improve the soil quality and tilth. Mantis’s plough and planter package is great for digging furrows in any soil.
Check your stored dahlia tubers – If you dug up your dahlias for storage over the winter, check that they are not damp or rotten. Discard any that are damp or diseased to prevent the rot from spreading.
Apply a slow release fertilizer – Shrubs will be growing very slowly at this time of year so applying a slow release fertilizer now will give them a good start to the coming growing season.
Prune your wisteria – This should be done in two stages. In the winter, shorten the shoots to 2 or 3 along the stems and in the summer prune the long growth to encourage the plant to bush out. Wisteria should be kept under control as it can run away with itself if left unchecked.
Prune fruit trees – Whilst they are dormant, it is a good time to remove dead or dying foliage and branches and any that are growing across towards the centre of the tree as they may block out the sunlight. However do not over-prune and try to keep the goblet shape with branches reaching outwards and upwards.
Fruit & Veg Care in January
Take care of your herbs – Some perennial herbs can be left in the ground over winter, such as sage, oregano, mint and tarragon and will die right down to the ground. Mulching will help to protect the roots but avoid doing this until the ground has frozen as mice may try to make their nests in there prior to this. Once the frosts have started mice will have already found somewhere to make their nest so it is safe to lay mulch around the roots of your herbs. Less hardy herbs such as rosemary, bay, lavender and lemon verbena can be potted and brought indoors for the winter.
Get some vegetables sown – There are a number of vegetables you can sow indoors now, ready for planting out in the spring; cauliflowers can be sown now ready for planting out in late February, early March and will be ready for harvest around May/June time. Also, leeks, lettuce, shallots, onions, garlic and chillies can be started off indoors now.
Chit out your potatoes – Stand your tubers in trays or egg boxes on end so that the eyes can sprout and place in a cool, dry place where they will not be affected by frost.
Sow peas for an early harvest – Sow them in pots now for an early May harvest. Keep them indoors until March or April when you can harden them off outdoors.
Dig over your plot – If the ground is not frozen digging over will aerate the soil and encourage break down. Aerating your lawn with a lawn aerator attachment can help to achieve a uniform, green lawn. Dig in some well-rotted manure or compost that will feed it ready for spring planting. However, if the soil sticks your boots, leave it for another few weeks.
Other Gardening Activities in January
Check your greenhouse – Make sure that the shelves and trays are clean and that none of the panes need repairing. Keep removing any snow fall off the greenhouse to prevent collapse.
Check your greenhouse for mouse activity – If you spot any, use your preferred choice of pest control to prevent mouse damage to plants, seedling or stored items, especially soft garden furniture.
ecycle your Christmas tree – To help to reduce the impact on the environment recycle through either your local council refuse depot or garden centre Often recycling a tree can result in an incentive from the recycler, such as a exchanging your tree for a gift voucher or a bag of mulch. You can also recycle it for your own use by shredding it and mulching it in your Mantis Compostumbler
Look after your pond – Keep removing dead leaves from your pond, when they decompose, they produce toxic gases which are very harmful to fish and other aquatic life, particularly if the pond freezes over. Leaves can sink to the bottom of the pond, rot down and lead to problems with the pond becoming stagnant. Place a football on the surface of the pond in cold spells to prevent it from freezing over but if it does freeze, thaw a hole in the ice by placing a pan or bucket of hot water on it until the ice melts beneath it. This will allow aeration and prevent damage to the health of the fish and plant life.
Don’t forget the birds – They will still be struggling to find food for a few weeks yet. Your local garden centre will stock a wide range of bird food products or you can visit the RSPB website for advice on what to put out for them. Remember to keep your bird bath filled up and break the ice if it freezes over as this will act as a lifeline for them.
Check your tree stakes – Strong winter winds can cause damage to unsupported trees and plants so make sure tree ties are safe and secure but ensure that they are not too tight, restricting the trees growth.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the experts here at Mantis if you have a question about this December gardening calendar. Alternatively, you can visit our garden care information page for more information about lawn care, composting, and gardening benefits.