Another mild start to January which has encouraged snowdrops and other bulbs to start growing earlier than usual. While we enjoy some milder dry days there are lots of small jobs to do in our gardens, some ideas are listed below.

Plants to buy this month

• Snowdrops and hellebores. Buy plants in flower, so you can choose the blooms you like

General Garden maintenance

• Clear soggy leaves, algae and moss from paths, patios, decking and steps
• Top up bird baths with fresh water and feed birds high energy food to help them through the cold weeks ahead, remembering to scrub the feeders regularly
• Repair wobbly or damaged fences
• Give your lawn mower a basic service while not in use
• Put up bird boxes in sheltered spots, on tree trunks, sheds or walls
• Clean and sharpen your tools, including hoes, secateurs and shears. Spray metal tools with oil
• Sprinkle an all-purpose fertiliser along the base of hedges and around shrubs
• Trim back ivy, Virginia creeper and other climbers
• Give empty pots and seed trays a thorough wash and scrub

A coal tit facing right on a tree stump


• Plant bare-root roses, shrub & hedging and ornamental trees, as long as the ground isn’t frozen
• Clear away and compost soggy, collapsed stems of perennials
• Remove larger leaves of established hellebores to reveal the flowers
• Press mistletoe berries into the bark of apple trees to establish your own mistletoe plants
• Clear leaf debris from small alpines
• Move dormant plants that are in the wrong place to more suitable sites
• Check for rot on stored bulbs and tubers, and ensure dahlia and canna tubers haven’t totally dried out


Yellow secateurs

• Continue pruning climbing roses, while they are dormant
• Prune apple and Pear trees


• Sow winter salads in a greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill, for harvesting in a few weeks
• Tidy up the greenhouse, disposing of any broken pots & old compost etc
• Move potted strawberry plants under cover to encourage early fruiting
• Prepare your greenhouse for spring – look at ventilation, shading & heating
• Ventilate the greenhouse on sunny days to prevent humidity building up