Lavant Horticultural Society, Chichester

Lavant Horticultuiral Society
Red berries of Skimmia japonica

A short selection of things to do in the garden at this time, also published each month in the Lavant News

January (to return to February, click on the Iris reticulata to the right).

Take advantage of any bad weather to plan for the coming season in the warm. Use a rotation system for your vegetables - growing the same crops in the same place year after year can build up pests & diseases

Sweet peas and broad beans can be sown in pots under cover. Unlike direct sowing, there is no risk of the seeds being eaten and plants can subsequently be set out at the right density.

Skimmia japonica

The second half of January is not too early to start sowing tomatoes, aubergines and peppers in a heated greenhouse or conservatory, or on a window sill, as they need a long growing period.

This month you can start forcing rhubarb by covering the crown with straw and then with a forcing pot or upturned tall bucket to exclude the light. Make sure to keep it free from slugs and snails.

January or February is the time for the final pruning of wisteria - cut back last season’s new shoots to two or three buds, whether or not they were shortened in the summer.

Ventilation reduces the risk of fungal infections in greenhouses and conservatories, so open vents for an hour or two on milder days.

Remove any remaining plant debris from vegetable plots, making sure not to compost any diseased material. Now is a good time to dig the plot over & incorporate soil improvers, if the soil is not too wet

Remove the jaded old leaves from hellebores – the new flowers that will be coming through will be shown off to much better effect and it clears away possible sources of hellebore leaf spot.X

Inspect any stored fruits and remove any rotting ones before they contaminate others.

Likewise, inspect any Dahlia, Begonia and Canna tubers you have lifted for signs of rot or drying out.

Choose a dry, calm day not threatened by frost to apply a winter wash to fruit trees and bushes.

Click above to return to

February

Click below for

more comprehensive

advice for this month

from the RHS

Wildlife in the garden

Winter in the garden

Click for more information from Sussex Wildlife Trust

Butterflies

there could still be butterlies and moths seeking food or shelter  in your garden

Garden hedges

Click above for more from the RSPB

Click below for new RHS

webpage on plants for

bees & other pollinators.