January in the Garden

Featured in the January 2010 handbook.

Articles > Gardening
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Keep your pond healthy - Rake out any dead leaves that have fallen into ponds and water features that weren’t netted in autumn. Leaves sink to the bottom and rot, clogging the pond and making it stagnant. If your pond is frozen and contains fish, melt a hole in the ice by holding a saucepan of hot water on top of the ice. This creates a hole that will allow the fish and other pond life to breathe. To prevent the water freezing in the first place, put in a floating ball as it will help stop ice forming.

Recycle your Christmas tree - If you didn’t buy a pot-grown tree and aren’t planning to plant it outside after the Christmas festivities are over, you can recycle your tree. Many local councils organise collection days when you can leave your tree outside your house and they’ll take it away for recycling. Alternatively, you can shred your tree and use the clippings as a mulch.

Have a tidy up - clean pots ready for spring Tidy your shed, throwing away rubbish that has accumulated during the year. Clean and oil tools so everything is in good working order when you need it in the spring. Sharpening blades on tools such as secateurs and hoes makes all the difference in how easy they are to use. Clean flowerpots and seed trays – treat yourself to some warm water or it can be a cold and miserable job! It’s also worth cleaning plant labels. A quick rub with a scouring cloth will remove old writing and saves you the cost of buying new labels. You can also make plant labels by cutting old plastic containers – such as yoghurt pots and plastic milk cartons – into strips. Most of our advice applies wherever you live, but sometimes regional variations alter timing by several weeks. There will also be local variations. If you're new to gardening and unsure of what to do when, ask fellow gardeners and neighbours. Always be guided by the weather and soil conditions – never garden by the calendar alone.

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