hellebore IS

January armchair gardening and plans for 2018

by CLAIRE BROWN from Plant Passion

Even though it’s the middle of winter, there are still flowers in January, even if it is frosted, but you do have to look a bit closer. Now’s an excellent time to be planning to get ahead for the 2018 growing and gardening season.

Tips for armchair (almost) gardening in the next few weeks…

  • Before you look through the seed catalogues, check through the seeds that you’ve already got.
  • Throw away any seeds that you can’t remember when you opened them. Last year or the year before is OK, but opened packets of seeds mean that the quality will deteriorate and there’s nothing more frustrating than sowing stuff that doesn’t come up.
  • Wash and clean off your plastic labels. Just use an eraser and the pencil markings will come off, even if washing doesn’t budge it. Although I don’t like to use too much plastic, nothing beats plastic labels with pencil marking for keeping track of what’s been planted, and still being able to read it next year.
  • Then write labels for all the seeds packets you are going  to sow this year, and stick it to the pack with sellotape. That way you’ve just got to add a date when you sow and there’s no label searching and trays of unknown seedlings.
  • Although it’s tempting to stay indoors when it’s cold, if it isn’t frosted, any weeding that you do now will keep the ground clear, and the weeds will be easy to take out after the frost.
  • Order Dahlias tubers to grow wonderful summer into autumn flowers – details of my favourites to cut flowers here.
  • Winter prune shrubs – apple trees, wisteria, evergreen shrubs and trees for pollarding are all good to be pruned at this time of year. Need a consultation or someone to help you do your pruning? More information here.

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