• Tips for Jan 2020 January 1, 2020 by Jim Buttress

    You can winter-prune Wisteria this month or next, shorten shoots that were pruned last summer to two or three buds from older wood.

    Sow Sweet Peas indoors, individually in root trainers or 9cm (3ins) pots. Autumn sown seedlings can be potted on now if necessary.

    Force rhubard for a tender early crop by covering plants with a forcing jar or large upturned plant pot. Ensure the drainage holes are covered to exclude all light.

    When pruning apple trees, avoid removing more than 20% of the crown in one winter. The more you prune the more foliage grows at the expense of fruit.

    Plan a crop rotation system for vegetables. Leave two years before replanting crops in the same place if possible.

    Prune winter flowering Jasminum Nudiflorum once the flowers have faded, thinning and reducing the shrubs size.

    Look out for black spot on pansies, removing infected leaves promptly and disposing of badly damaged plants.

    On gooseberries and red currants, remove deadwood and low-lying shoots. Shorten branch tips by one quarter, cutting to a suitable outward facing bud. Prune all side shoots back to one to three buds from their bases..

    Clear out bird boxes by removing old nests and rinse out boxes if possible.

    Seed potatoes can be chitted from now onwards. Place in trays or egg boxes, store in a light, cool, frost free spot. Spray with a fine mist of diluted maxi-crop. This will help increse yield later.