Barnsdale Gardens is Britain’s largest collection of individually designed gardens based in the East Midlands.
As all gardeners know, there is always something worthwhile to do at any time of year whether it is in your own back garden or 38 of them as there are at Barnsdale! January is no exception, and the maintenance and work that takes place this month can be the key to success for the rest of the year!
Re-firm trees and shrubs
With all the wet and windy weather recently, once the ground has dried a bit, it would be prudent to re-firm newly planted trees or shrubs and/or those that might be a bit top-heavy. Just using the heel of your boot to firm around the root area again should be more than enough.
Feed fallen fruits to our feathered friends
If you have a berry tree with hard standing beneath it this is the time of year when quite a few of the berries have fallen and they are generally raked off and composted or popped into the green bin. If left, a lot of particularly blackbirds will feed on them from the floor. However, leaving them on the ground can be unsightly, so either rake them into an adjacent border or collect them and scatter them in a border where you won’t really see them.
Check for disease with stored plants
It is important to keep checking stored tubers and corms, such as Dahlias, Gladioli and Begonia, just in case they start to suffer from disease. The main one will be grey mould (Botrytis) which will rot the plants, so if you see any signs then deal with it by cutting out the diseased part and restoring the plant.
Sow hardy perennial seeds
If you have a propagator, heated mat in a greenhouse, or just a windowsill, now is a good time to start sowing perennials indoors. Sow in modules, if possible, because this eliminates the need to prick out. Aim for about three seeds per cell, although this is less easy to achieve with very small seeds. In modules use vermiculite to cover the seed and use a thin layer of compost to cover when sowing into a seed tray. They will germinate faster given bottom heat of around 15°C (59°F) This is an ideal method for growing Echinops.
Multi-sow for early crops
You can grow carrots, beetroot, leeks, onions, turnips and kohl rabi using this method, which will give quick and early crops. The idea is to grow clumps of things and harvest them when young and tender, giving as little as 7-10 weeks from sowing to harvest.
– Fill the module tray with peat-free compost
– Make a small indentation for the seed – the cap on the end of a pencil is ideal.
– Sow between 4 and 7 seeds per cell
– Cover with vermiculite
– Label and water
– Put into a propagator or warm greenhouse.
Once germinated and rooted into each module these can be hardened off and planted out straight from the tray. They are then harvested as a clump.
There’s plenty to see and do all year round at Barnsdale Gardens!
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