Garden notes for January 2022
After the haze of all the Christmas and New Year jollifications, the good gardener starts to look ahead. Even though the garden is asleep, it is surprising just how soon it starts to burst with life. So, think about what was successful last year and what might be a good idea to experiment with this year. How about growing a blend of salad leaves, like the ones seen in every supermarket. They can be grown, with a little bit of heat to start them off, in the early spring, don’t take up much room and are very healthy.
Another idea might be to try some different culinary herbs, for example Basil Lime (Ocimum americanum) which adds a twist of lime flavour to any dish. It can been grown on the window sill. Then there is Dill (Antheum gravolens), Oregano (Origanum vulgare) as well as Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) which is an evergreen and Myrrh (Myrrhis odorate). All can be grown relatively easily from seed.
Remember, even if we do get a few mild days towards the end of the month that any seeds that are sown need a constant temperature to start them off, at least 8 to 10 degrees Centigrade, so do not be tempted to sow outdoors, as temperatures drop well below these levels at night time, even when it is mild.
Check trees, shrubs and roses that may have been planted in the autumn to make sure they are secure. If they have become loosened through wind or frost damage, re-firm them thoroughly. Do this when the soil is reasonably dry.
Use horticultural fleece or cloches to protect early seed beds so that the ground can be used for early sowings of vegetables such as lettuce, parsnips and so on.
This is the time of year when houseplants are most appreciated. Azaleas, cineraria and cyclamen will all help to cheer things up. Do not over water, and most of these plants like cool conditions.
Towards the middle of the month start to make preparations for taking chrysanthemum cuttings. If you have a cold frame make sure it is ready and make up the necessary soil. A good mixture is two parts loam, one part peat, and one part sand to ensure good drainage. Any pots or boxes should be cleaned and the chrysanthemum stools brought in to start them growing sturdy cuttings.