Happy Gardening in January!
January can be a bleak month for gardeners with our outdoor spaces devoid of colour. However it’s possible to enjoy colour, texture and a long period of interest using our raised planters.
If you’ve positioned your planter close to the house then your display can be appreciated by visitors from the comfort of indoors – and as a bonus, if you can see the display from your kitchen window then a cheerful arrangement can spur you through the washing up!
With the passing of the Winter Solstice on December 21st the days have started to get longer, you may not notice this yourself but the plants will. From this point on the plants in the garden will try to increase their growth rate in proportion to the amount of light they receive. And the double-walled construction of our planters will keep soil warm protecting roots.
Handy Monthly Tips
There are many plants and shrubs suitable for container growing that are hardy and will look good for weeks on end. The benefit of cooler weather is that blooms last longer (if sheltered from wind and rain) and so a little goes a long way. On a bright day, leaves fringed with frost, even simple evergreens such as bay, laurel, viburnum and holly are transformed into objects of great beauty.
Some more of our favourite plants for this time of year include skimmia, violas, ivies, Christmas rose, winter flowering heathers, ornamental cabbage and grasses.
If you’re planting cyclamen, violas and other winter bedding, avoid burying the plants too deeply otherwise they might rot. Feeding is not required as plants will find all the nutrition they need in the planting medium.
Don’t forget that structure and garden ornaments can play a key part in your winter display – especially now when there’s less foliage about. At your local garden centre you’ll find a variety of ornamental objects sculptures that can add interest to your container – and for extra brightness you can also add some outdoor lights.
Remove yellowing leaves from winter brassicas as they are no use to the plant and may harbour pests and diseases.
Winter cabbages and savoys can be harvested now if you’ve grown them over winter. Knock any potting mix off the stems and roots and add them to the compost bin. A good tip before composting cabbage stems is to chop and mash them up, as they are woody and can take time to break down.
If you’ve grown kale through autumn and winter now is an excellent time for harvesting. A touch of frost sweetens the hardy kale plants so they should be just about ready for eating now.
You can start growing potatoes in your raised planter for a very early crop – Charlotte are a good variety for this. They should be covered though so don’t forget it’s very easy and cheap to add one to your garden4m raised planter by using some plastic tubing and a sheet of polythene.
Seasonal things to do
If you had a real tree this Christmas then they are recyclable and can be shredded into chippings which are then used locally in parks or woodland areas.
Local authorities often arrange drop-off points or special collections of the trees in early January and will advertise the dates this will take place with any other changes to collections over the Christmas period. Check your local authority website for more information.
garden4me flower of the month January
The Christmas rose adds a beacon of light at the darkest time of the year
garden4me veg of the month January
Savoy cabbage – a winter favourite!