Happy New Year to all my clients, readers and followers! It’s been a strange start to 2016 as we experience one of the warmest and wettest UK winters on record. Gardeners have been seeing their spring daffodils flowering as early as December! As we get further into January we’re finally starting to see some really cold winter weather, but there’s still plenty of opportunity for garden work as plants and lawns are already growing.
Winter digging is out of the question, as bringing weed roots and seeds to the surface is likely to start them growing – not what we want! But there’s plenty more to be getting on with in the garden.
If your real Christmas tree is still hanging around outside the back door, remember before you take it to the dump or leave it out for recycling that a Christmas tree can be a great addition to a compost heap, if you’ve got one. The tree bark and needles both contain useful nutrients.
To compost a Christmas tree, chop the tree into bits, taking off branches and chopping the trunk into small logs, then add to your compost heap.
It’s a quiet period for gardeners, so it’s a great time to get yourself organised ready for spring. You could clear out your shed, getting rid of rubbish, organising and sharpening tools and checking that all your electrical equipment is in good repair. If a lawn mower or strimmer needs a repair it’s best to get it done now rather than creating a hold up when you come to give the grass its first spring cut. You can get equipment repairs done professionally at many tool hire centres and this is a particularly good idea if you’ve got a petrol mower, which are more complex to maintain.
This year, January is shaping up to be an ideal time for re-turfing or lawn repairs. Normally we’d recommend waiting until February or March but because it’s been so unseasonably wet and warm, this month is actually proving to be a good growing season.
If you’re laying turf now, make sure you dig over the area well and level it to avoid waterlogging, particularly if you have a stodgy clay soil.
We’ve been talking about pruning since the autumn on this blog, but this is actually a good time to revisit those bare bushes. Now all the leaves have fallen we can see branches clearly and spot the occasional black dead stem. Trim those black stems to prepare the plant for healthy growth next season.
With the recent wet weather grass is starting to grow again unseasonably early, so you may want to give your lawn a moderate cut. To keep the grass healthy, set your mower to leave a good length, as you don’t want growth to be scraggly for next growing season.
The combination of wet weather and wind has been the cause of damage to many fences, with splits to timber stakes, rotting posts or fallen panels. It’s a good time to start making repairs while trees and shrubs are bare so that you can see fencing and access it easily.
New from Acorns! All-in-One Shed Installation Service!
Acorns Landscape & Gardening is introducing a new service in 2016. Our All-in-One Shed Installation service includes supply of our favourite tried and tested basic shed from our supplier, plus installation including foundations and erection. To find out more, drop us an email on email@example.com or call Milan on 01235 538029.