Top gardening jobs to do in January including pruning to discourage plant ‘diseases’

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Top gardening jobs to do in January including pruning to discourage plant ‘diseases’

The experts said: “Now is a great time to plan for the coming gardening year and to order seeds and plants. Enjoy the fresh air, on dry sunny days, and check your winter protection, stakes, ties and supports are still working after any severe weather.

“Also put out food for birds and leave some garden areas uncut, a little longer, to provide shelter for wildlife in your garden.”

One of the top jobs this month is to prune fruit trees including both apples and pears which although may seem daunting, is fairly easy.

The RHS said: “Aim to take between 10 to 20 percent of the overall canopy off in any one winter. Work around the tree evenly and keep an eye on your pruning pile – if it’s looking a little big, stop. You can always go back next year and do some more.

“The more you prune, the stronger the regrowth. If you have pruned too hard, your tree is likely to produce vigorous upright branches called watershoots. This isn’t ideal as they crowd the crown.

“Aim to take out a bit of old wood each winter, to stimulate new. But the majority of the fruiting wood should be quite young – one to four years old, which is the wood that fruits best.

“Also aim to create an open centre for your tree. This allows more light into the canopy to ripen the shoots and fruit. Improved air movement discourages diseases.”

Although not the most glamorous of tasks, cleaning pots, gutters, water butts and greenhouses is one of the most important tasks to be done this month.

According to the experts, cleaning greenhouses, no matter the material greatly improves the growing environment for plants, helping them thrive into the spring and summer months.

The RHS said: “Glazing material should also be washed inside and out, but for plastic materials, test on a small inconspicuous area first to be sure the cleaning material does not damage the glazing.

“Scrub off any old shade paint on the outside of the glass from the summer and ease out dirt trapped between panes using a flexible scraper such as a plastic plant label.

“Replace broken parts such as vent controllers and draught excluders and pay attention to propagation areas and equipment.”

January is also a great month to lay a new turd or repair holes and bumps on existing lawns.

The pros added: “If your lawn suffers dieback from treading during the wet, muddy season, then consider laying stepping stones through it to allow easy access across it without causing damage.”

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