January Gardening 2021

None of us could have predicted what would happen in 2020, and many more people turned to gardening as our gardens became a much-needed sanctuary, a space away from the madness of what was going on in the world, and something to do with the extra time for those on furlough. As we head into 2021 the world is still a mad place, however there is now a vaccination, and hope for the future. I hope that people continue to enjoy their gardens and be able to spend time growing and enjoying nature. Not just because its my job, but also because I appreciate the mental health benefits (and physical) that I get personally from contact with the earth.
Brexit also looms on the horizon, none of us are still sure if a deal will be done (although by the time this is published, we will know the answer). We don’t know how any deal or no-deal will affect the products we import and export. However, there is one thing that’s looking very positive with our break from Europe and that’s our use of pesticides. A report from PAN UK just came in my mailbox stating that the UK government are now actively seeking to greatly reduce pesticide use by 2022! (The rest of Europe are aiming for 2030) This is fantastic news for the environment and biodiversity. Here at P&R Garden Supplies new products will be hitting our shelves in January, we have lots of eco-friendly alternatives hitting our shelves too. Reduction in plastics of packaging, more recyclable and biodegradable products, more organic & chemical free solutions to pests, diseases and weeds. We will be marking our shelves to highlight these alternative products.
Many of you who are new to gardening most likely think that there isn’t much you can do in your garden this month. Going by how I have filled half of the article without writing much about gardening this is to an extent true, you can’t plant in frozen ground! Here’s a list of tasks you CAN do this month when the weather allows:
• Cut back old foliage of ornamental grasses and perennials such as sedums.
• Winter Prune Wisteria
• Purchase and start chitting seed potatoes, in mid/ late January we will expect our delivery of seed potatoes (earlies, seconds & mains) from our Scottish supplier.
• Remove old and diseased Hellebore leaves to make the new blooms more visible as they emerge this spring.
• Remove yellowing leaves from your winter brassicas as they are no use to the plant and may harbour pests and diseases.
• Prune apple trees and pear trees if you haven’t done so already as this is best done whilst they are dormant. (Leave plums, cherries and apricots unpruned until the summer as pruning these fruit trees now will make them susceptible to silver leaf infections.)
• Start forcing Rhubarb by placing an old bucket over the crown
• Plant new soft fruit bushes and canes (as long as the ground is not frozen)
• If you shred your Christmas tree the resulting mulch is the perfect top dressing for acid loving plants such as Rhododendron, Acer and Blueberries.
• If you are over wintering plants in the greenhouse Botrytis (grey mould) can be a problem. To reduce the risk increase air flow by opening all the doors and vents on mild days. In the event of signs of disease remove the plant to prevent spreading.
• It is cold and frosty for the birds as well, so it’s a good time to look after wildlife. In addition to putting out food, birdbaths can easily freeze over which deprives the birds of a much-needed source of water.
Whatever you are planning for your garden this year we will always be here to help you achieve your perfect sanctuary!
Rachel Sobiechowski BSc(Hons) P&R Garden Supplies, Fengate Drove, Brandon, IP27 0PW
01842 814800 www.p-rgardensupplies.co.uk

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