Wednesday, 14 January 2015

January's Great Outdoors

  New Seasons  

A new year, a new season, a fresh start. Here are a few tips to get you going in the garden...

1. Recycle your Christmas Tree

Rather than taking it to the dump, use all those nutrients for your own soil! By having your old Christmas Tree shredded and chipped, you can use it for mulch in your garden. Contact you local council for some more information.  Just make sure you wait for all the frost and snow to disappear first! Also, be careful when using rock salt to clear your pathways, as it can scorch and damage exposed roots and leaves.

2. Get digging

Start to dig and turn over empty beds and borders for the new season. This freshens up the earth, incorporates new organic matter which adds nutritional value to the soil and exposes any pests so the birds can get at them! It's also an opportunity to get rid of some of the weeds that have crept in and survived the frost.

3. Prune and Trim

January is a great time to prune back fruit trees, ready for a new year. It is also worth taking a walk round the garden to double check any potential damage done by winter wind and frost. Remove any mold early to prevent it from spreading.

4. Get things growing

Now is the time to start off your seedlings inside on a sunny windowsill or in the greenhouse. Good ones to start in January are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, and herbs like coriander, sage, chives and parsley.

5. Feed and Defrost

Keep bird feeders topped up and defrost the bird bath. Thrushes and blackbirds actually prefer to eat off the ground, so pop some nibbles in a clear, open space for them. If you have a frozen pond, make a hole in the ice by heating up a pan of water and holding it closely and carefully over one area, so it slowly melts away. Smashing the ice could cause damage to water plants or fish. 

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