As January progresses and I am determined to ensure that my garden doesn’t become a neglected square yet again, I’m trying to keep on top of tasks for January in the garden.
Apparently January is a time for rest when it comes to gardening. It gets too hot to do very much other than maintain the garden and harvest produce as it ripens.
Some of the garden maintenance tasks include:
* Ensuring that plants are adequately mulched
* Turning compost (if you have a compost pile)
* Making sure worm farms are shaded and kept watered.
In the Vegie Patch
In the vegetable garden both books recommend:
* Planting dwarf beans – Yates says it’s mostly too late for climbing beans, but Nankervis says there’s still time.
* Ensuring that plants are adequately watered. Both recommend watering the soil, not the plant, to try to reduce fungal infection.
* Shading seedlings until they are properly established so that they don’t suffer too much from the effects of the Summer sun.
Nankervis also recommends that we watch out for powdery mildew (which can be treated with a milk spray or natural fungicide) and scale (which can be removed by hand or sprayed with an oil and soap spray).
In the Orchard
* Use citrus food to feed all fruiting plants (including climbers), unless they’re in pots.
* Make sure grass is kept away from the base of fruit trees. Instead cover the surrounding area with mulch, leaving a bare space around the trunk.
* Keep a look out for leaf-eating caterpillars (including the evil Pear and Cherry Slug currently eating its way through my pear tree).
* Throw out any leaves with fungal disease, rather than composting them (although some books suggest that you can compost them as long as you make sure they’re in the centre of the compost pile so the heat can kill off the fungus. I’d rather throw them out than take the risk myself).
* Lightly prune fruit trees once fruiting has finished.
In the Flower Garden
* Stake any flowering plants that require it.
* Maintain roses by ‘dead heading’ the plants. Keep an eye out for blackspot and aphids, both of which can be controlled by removing them from the tree by hand (or a sharp blast of water for the aphids). Make sure you bin any leaves with blackspot, rather than composting them or leaving them to fall on the ground.
* Fertilise flower gardens with a slow release fertiliser.
In January they recommend that you:
Direct Sow (Vegetables):
Beetroot, carrot, chicory, chives, climbing beans, coriander, cucumber, dwarf beans, endives, kohl rabi, mustard greens, oregano, parsley, parsnip, radish, salsify, silverbeet, spring onions, swede, sweetcorn and turnips.
In Trays Sow:
Broccoli, cabbage, leek, lettuce, marrow and zucchini.
Basil, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chilli, cress, eggplant, leek, lemongrass, lettuce, luffa, marrow, okra, potato tubers, rhubarb crowns, rockmelon, rosella, tomatoes, watermelon and zucchini.
Of the things on the list I think I had done most of them, except pruning my apricots now that they’ve finished fruiting and starting sowing for next season. Must add that to the list of things to do, but I’m feeling a lot better about my garden in January now!
Do you follow a plan for gardening? What’s on your to-do list for January?