There’s nothing better to get rid of those January blues than by getting in touch with nature, and January is actually the perfect time of year to start some plants off from seed (indoors and outdoors), and to prep your soil and borders ready for more planting in the springtime.
If you didn’t manage to plant your spring bulbs on the run up to Christmas, not to panic as there are plenty of flowers, fruit and vegetables that you can start on now. Plus, if you really want to see those spring bulbs this year, then there’s no harm in doing it now. Be quick and we won’t tell Monty.
For more January gardening jobs, check out our month-by-month gardening calendar, and without further ado, let’s get planting!
What you can plant outdoors
- Raspberry canes
There is a chance that you haven’t stepped out into your garden for a while – we are not judging, it has been bleak – but If you’re ready to get your hands dirty then you should definitely consider planting out bare rooted trees for delicious fruit come summer.
- Plant out bare rooted trees as soon as poss to avoid the roots drying out.
- Make sure that the soil isn’t water logged or frozen, and be sure to choose a sunny site where there is good drainage also.
- Use plenty of well rotted garden compost or manure, plus bone meal or another fertiliser or your choose.
- Heel in your plants by digging a large enough trench or hole to accommodate the root ball, then firmly press the soil back in to secure the roots (less rocking in the wind) and to remove any air-pockets.
- Protect the plants from bad weather with a net windbreak and horticultural fleece can work for frosts, which also doubles up as a pest deterrent too
What you can plant in your greenhouse
- Broad beans (will also work in a cold frame)
- Sweet peas
- Icelandic poppies
Start these off in pots, in the greenhouse for planting out in spring. Germination should take around 2 weeks depending on the cultivar. All three of these (inc. broad beans) will product B-E-A-utiful flowers so get ready for a treat.
- Be sure to check the cultivar on your packet of seed to see how much space they will need to grow when you plant them out in spring.
- Keep your greenhouse at around 12°C (55°F) and if needed, cover the pots with hay or fleece.
- Remember to use peat-free compost where you can as it’s far more environmentally friendly.
- Prepare your seed compost with a little grit for better drainage.
What you can plant indoors
- Pelargoniums - will flower from June
- Dahlias - will flower from July
- Delphinium - will flower in June/July
Aubergines are great vegetables to plant in January as they will be more likely to produce a healthier crop, and is there anything to warm you up than pots of chillies on your window sill? Start these herbs, veggies and flowers on a sunny window sill or in heated propagator or using an indoor cultivator light, and in no time at all, you'll have flowers and greenery everywhere.
Tips for sowing indoors:
- Use seed compost with 10-20% sand or grit for better drainage
- Sow seeds thinly
- If reusing old pots – good job – be sure to wash them out to get rid of any potentially diseased soil residue
- If you need new pots, consider the compostable variety
- If starting seeds on a window sill, be sure to rotate your pots frequently for equal sun distribution and to avoid leggy shoots
- Think about space because these babies will grow
- If using a heated propagator, keep the temperature steady and wipe away any condensation