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A frost winter garden
4 MIN 20 Dec
Last update: 28 Dec 2023

Gardening in January: A Comprehensive Guide to Flourishing Green Spaces

You might be enjoying the warm evenings by the fire but it's never too early to get out in the garden. Check out our top tips for gardening in January.

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January heralds the beginning of the horticultural year — a time to harness renewed vigour, establish grand schemes for the upcoming months, and lay the groundwork for a bountiful spring and summer. 

So, gardening in January is primarily about ensuring everything is trim and neat; setting the stage for the year’s horticultural adventures.

Let’s get started!

Timely Tips for January Gardening

a potted plant in the snow

Pre-Spring Cleaning

Kickstart your January garden jobs by cleaning your planting pots, gardening tools, water butts and greenhouses. This makes satisfyingly challenging work — excellent exercise after the Christmas indulgences, paving the way for a fruitful growing season.

Planning for the Months Ahead

January is an excellent time to plan the aesthetics of your garden for this year. From the cosy comfort of your armchair, you can order seeds and plants to bring your vision to life.

Surveying Your Winter Protection

Ensure your winter protection measures are still effective. Inspect stakes, supports and ties that may have been damaged by harsh weather.

Fostering Wildlife

Keep feeding the birds to draw them into your garden. Keep some parts of your garden uncut to shelter the smaller creatures until spring arrives.

Tasks in the Flower Garden

Pruning a bush

Pruning and Tidying

Remove spent blooms and dead or diseased wood from your plants and bushes to encourage fresh springtime growth. 

Here are some tips for specific plants:

  • Wisteria — Prune your wisteria by cutting back the summer growth, leaving 2 or 3 buds on each branch.
  • Rose Bushes — While dormant, prune your rose bushes this month. Cut each branch back to just above a new bud.
  • Rhododendrons — This is the best time to prune your rhododendrons, cutting off all the dead and diseased growth.

Check out our extensive catalogue of how to prune flowering plants, shrubs, and bushes.

Tasks in the Vegetable Garden

Leeks in the ground

The vegetable garden may seem quiet in January, but there are some essential gardening jobs for January to keep you busy:

Harvesting

Keep harvesting your parsnips and leeks as and when you need them.

Protecting Potato Grow Bags

If your greenhouse is unheated, protect your potato grow bags with frost-protection fleece on cold nights.

Tasks in the Fruit Garden

Like a vegetable garden, there are a few tasks for your fruiting plants and bushes:

Pruning

  • Apple and Pear Trees — Prune your apple and pear trees if you haven’t done so already.
  • Currant Plants and Gooseberries — Maintain a productive framework of healthy branches by pruning your currant plants and gooseberries.

Other Fruit Garden Jobs

  • Forcing Rhubarb Plants — It’s time to force your rhubarb plants: place an upturned bucket or bin over the crown. Surprisingly, this encourages rapid growth. 
  • Ordering Fruit Bushes — Order your fruit bushes, such as currants and raspberries. It’ll soon be time to plant them in a prepared bed in a sheltered position.

Looking After Your Lawn in January

There’s no a lot to do for a January lawn. 

However, avoid walking on your lawn when it’s covered in heavy frost or snow to prevent damaging the grass beneath.

Other January Garden Jobs

  • Checking Climbers — Ensure your climbers are securely attached to their supports with ties.
  • Removing Weeds — Remove lurking weeds from your beds and borders, roots and all.
  • Brushing off Snow — Remove heavy snow and cold frames from greenhouses to prevent damage to the glass.
  • Recycling your Christmas Tree — Shred your Christmas tree and add it to your compost bins.

Tasks From Your Armchair

A person writing a gardening checklist in a notebook

January is a great time to plan your garden for the year ahead:

  1. Planning Your Vegetable Plot — Consider good crop rotation. This helps prevent pests or diseases from building up within the soil. So, mix things up with new veg you haven’t previously tried; it’s all about the adventure, after all. 
  2. Ordering Seeds  — Draw up a garden plan. This helps you decide upon the appropriate seed quantities. While most seeds last more than one year, avoid waste by only ordering what you’ll definitely need. 
  3. Ordering Spring-Planting Bulbs and Tubers — Consider dedicating a bed to perennial veg, such as asparagus, rhubarb and artichokes.
  4. Ordering Fruit Trees — Order fruit trees in January for early spring planting.
  5. Ordering Climbing Perennials — Order climbing perennials like clematis for early spring planting.
  6. Planning Your Bedding Plants — Plan your bedding in preparation for ordering garden-ready plants, like begonias and fuchsias, for planting at the beginning of spring.

Gardening in January — readying your garden for the year to come

Embrace the chill of gardening in January and immerse yourself in these tasks. 

With some planning, effort and patience, you can set the stage for a vibrant and fruitful garden in the months to come. 

Happy gardening!

Louis Hooft
Founder & Lawn expert
Introducing Louis Hooft, the founder of MOOWY and your reliable expert. With a profound love for stunning lawns and extensive experience in garden maintenance, Louis is here to assist garden enthusiasts in achieving a greener and livelier outdoors than ever before. Count on Louis for invaluable tips, clever tricks, and top-notch products to make your garden flourish!
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