Hints & Tips
Many think January a dead month in the garden, especially this week when sitting in an arm chair in front of a blazing fire with the latest seed catalogues is about as energetic as many of us want to get after the festive over-indulgence.
But a glance at the forecast will show that although we may avoid snow and ice (except for you hardy folk ‘Up North’ and in Scotland), the met men area warning of strong winds and lashing rain.
In the garden you need to make sure that you haven’t left any tools laying around which could take off in the winds and please ensure the wheel barrow is stored safely inside the shed.
If the ground is not too wet this is the ideal time to turn over the last corners of the vegetable patch. If your soil is heavy with clay, the more times you do this the better and if you can incorporate a little compost at the same time your crops will be more plentiful when it comes to harvesting.
If you’re looking for a tiller to make the job easier how about this one, the Einhell BG-MT 3360-LD Petrol Tiller / Cultivator.
It’s a hard-working machine which will tackle quite large vegetable patches and allotments, German made and capable of cutting into thicker clay with six hardened steel blades and a 163 cc engine.
It has a front transport wheel to make it easier to move around and discs which protect the growing crops and are handy for tilling between the rows.
It is a great buy at the moment with £200 off as it costs just £299.95 and that includes next day delivery.
Pruning fruit trees and bushes is another job which you could undertake if the weather allows.
Teetering on a step ladder to prune branches can be dangerous but now much of this can be undertaken from the ground using equipment like this, the Greenworks 24v Cordless Pole-Pruner (2000107-A).
A wide selection of mechanised tree pruners is available but this one is battery powered and therefore lighter. The 20 cm saw head is much like a chain saw and can cut through the last year’s growth comfortably.
It costs £139.95 including delivery and comes with battery and charger.
You will need petrol-powered machines to tackle thicker branches, however, and you can find a wide selection on these pages.
You can also prune vines if you have any – they are becoming more popular as global warming starts to life temperatures.
Keep the clippings from these in the lob store and use it as kindling next year, it has a wonderful scent.
If the rain does bucket down you are probably best to stay off the lawn and let it drain away but you can go over the lawn with a garden fork or an aerator to speed the draining process.
If you have a yen to get planting there is still time to plant bare root roses and container-grown shrubs.
Other than that you can use the time to best advantage outside to clear away the odd corners where leaves have piled up.
That’s one less job to do when Spring arrives.
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