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Garden in January

  15/01/2015 at 11:20 am

 

Rachel Doyle

January is the perfect time to start planning ahead for your spring garden. It may be cold, dark and frosty out there and there are some jobs that need to be delayed but there is still lots of things you can do now if you have the time. Getting a head start on jobs and tasks can make life a lot easier come springtime. The good news is that tidying up the garden is great exercise to keep you fit and healthy this January!

Now is the time for the planting of all kinds of trees, shrubs and roses, especially bare-root or rootballed kinds, especially during dry weather. Check that all staked young trees are properly tied and also tall shrubs that can be rocked by wind and that the lower branches of garden trees can be pruned up to allow light to plants underneath

If you have any fruit trees in your garden now is a very good time to prune young freestanding Apple and Pear trees as this will encourage branching and bushiness from the main stem. It is important to check all tree stakes and ties as they may need loosening, replacing, or removing. On trained forms of Apple and Pear trees, the side shoots that were shortened in summer can be reduced in length now to about three buds. The pruning of many deciduous trees, Shrubs and Hedges can be carried out from now throughout the dormant season.

When you prune correctly, you encourage healthy growth and flowering (in the case of flowering plants), as well as good looks. For most shrubs and trees, it helps to prune at the right time. Some are best pruned in winter; some right after flowering. Pruning is a horticultural and silvicultural practice involving the selective removal of parts of a plant, such as branches, buds, or roots. It is so much easier to see what you are doing when the branches are bare. So take a walk around the garden and see if anything needs pruning or staking to prevent the wind from doing any serious damage. I always hold off on pruning grey foliage plats until the risk of hard frost has passed. Hybrid tea and Floribunda roses are best pruned mid-February to mid-March, a job to be done before St. Patricks’ day.

By Rachel Doyle