It’s a brand new year and there’s loads to do out in the garden! As well as the usual catching up to do after Christmas, there are borders to get ready, new plants to get in the ground and plans to make. Here are a few of the things you can be getting on with in the garden this month:

General tasks

  • Treat timber with wood preservative to keep them in good condition. Sheds, fences and pergolas all benefit from a generous coat to protect them from bad weather.
  • Lag outdoor stand pipes and taps with bubble-wrap insulation or hessian to prevent them freezing in the cold weather and then cracking as they thaw.
  • Recycle your Christmas Tree. Click here for our list of ideas for inspiration.
  • Put out plenty of food and water for hungry birds.
  • Check any stakes, tree ties and other supports for damage and repair where necessary.
  • If we had a white Christmas then remove snow from evergreen trees and shrubs.
  • Avoid walking on grass while it is frozen: The frozen leaves are brittle and easily damaged.
  • Have your lawn mower serviced and clean and oil garden tools.

Ornamental gardens

  • Plant new trees and shrubs as long as the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged: you’ll find some fine specimens, including plants with gorgeous winter flowers, available now at the garden centre.
  • Prune wisteria cutting back sideshoots to two or three buds to encourage cascades of beautifully scented flowers in late spring.
  • Tie in climbing plants to protect them from being blown about in the wind and potentially damaged, and trim ornamental vines, Virginia creeper and Boston ivy away from windows, doors and gutters.
  • Dig over any vacant plots that you haven't already and leave rough for frost to break down.
  • Consider moving plants to sunnier parts of your garden to maximise light exposure.

Kitchen garden

  • Sow onion seed in 5cm module trays and transfer to a heated propagator set to 15-18°C to germinate. Sowing from seed early in the year gives your onions the maximum time possible to grow into fat bulbs.
  • Prune autumn raspberries cutting canes down right to the base, then follow up with a feed of slow-release fertiliser and a generous mulch of well-rotted farmyard manure.
  • Sow microgreens in trays on the windowsill to give you something good to eat even when you can’t go out. They germinate in no time and are delicious snipped raw into salads.
  • Check stored fruit and vegetables and remove any damaged or mouldy produce to avoid spoiling the rest.
  • Prune apple and pear trees.
  • Toward the end of the month, give early salad crops a good start by putting up plastic cloches to warm the soil.