Gardening in January

Even in winter there’s plenty to do.

Our gardening expert at gives us the jobs for the month.

Part One

Flower garden

Prune your Wisteria plant now, cutting back summer side-shoots to two or three buds.
Prune rose bushes now while they are dormant. Cut back to just above a bud and remove any crossing or dead branches.
You can plant bare root roses now in a sunny position for spectacular summer colour.
If your garden is looking a bit bare try growing a winter-flowering evergreen Clematis such as Winter Beauty. To find out how to prune Clematis take a look at our Clematis pruning guide.
For a more unusual bare-root plant to add to your borders now, try growing Alstroemeria (Peruvian Lily).
Cut back the old foliage from ornamental grasses before growth begins – clip them to within a few centimetres of the ground.
Cut down the old stems of perennial plants like Sedum – be careful of any new growth.
Remove old Hellebore leaves to make the new blooms more visible as they emerge this spring.
Inspect stored tubers of Dahlia, Begonia and Canna for rots or drying out
Cut back damaged, diseased and the oldest stems of brightly coloured willows, and thin overcrowded stems.
Remove any faded flowers from your winter pansies to stop them setting seed.

Vegetable garden

Sow broad beans in pots in mild areas, placing them in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse.
Harvest parsnips and leeks.
If you’d like to grow early peas, place a cloche over the soil to let it warm up for a few weeks prior to sowing.
While you’re waiting for the weather to warm up, try growing your own mushrooms using one of our mushroom kits indoors.
Stake or earth up Brussels sprouts stalks that look leggy and vulnerable to wind rock. Pick the biggest sprouts from low down the stalks first.
Sow seed indoors for early crops eg: lettuces, summer brassicas (eg cabbages and cauliflowers), spinach, salad onions and turnips.
Start chitting (sprouting) early potatoes – stand them on end in a module tray or egg box and place in a bright cool frost-free place
You can start growing potatoes in containers under cover for a very early crop (Charlotte potatoes are a good variety for this). Potato Patio Planters are ideal for growing early potatoes in small spaces.
If your greenhouse is unheated, protect your potato grow bags with horticultural fleece on cold nights.
Force chicory to produce plump leafy heads.
When gardening on wet soils work from a plank of wood, rather than treading on the bed, to avoid compacting the soil.
Remove yellowing leaves from your winter brassicas as they are no use to the plant and may harbour pests and diseases.
Any areas of ground that are presently empty can be dug over forking in plenty of rotted manure or compost, should conditions prove wet a polythene sheet can be used to cover the area helping to keep any further rain off, then once the soil has dried out digging can begin again.

Fruit garden

Begin pruning your apple trees and pear trees if you haven’t done so already – this is best done whilst they are dormant.
Apply a top dressing of sulphate of potash to all fruits and nuts.
Leave plums, cherries and apricots unpruned until the summer as pruning these fruit trees now will make them susceptible to silver leaf infections.
Prune apples, pears, quinces and medlars.
Prune currants and gooseberries.
Prune autumn raspberries.
Apply winter washes to fruit trees and bushes.
Try forcing rhubarb plants by placing an upturned bucket or bin over the crown. This will force tender pink stems to grow that will be ready in about 8 weeks time.
Continue to plant raspberry canes on sunny sites with free-draining soil.
Keep checking stored fruits and remove rotten ones.
If you’re looking for something a bit different to add to your fruit garden, try the nutritious Blueberry PinkBerry.
Lower indoor grapevine stems for even bud-break.
Order fruit bushes such as currants now and plant in a well-prepared bed in a sheltered position; they will be a lot tastier than supermarket produce!