Tips for January 2023

December 28, 2022 8:21 am Published by

Prune Wisteria this month or next, shortening the same shoots that were pruned in summer back to two or three buds from old wood.

For an early harvest of tender stems, cover crowns of established rhubard plants with dry straw then a traditional clay forcing pot or upturned bucket.

Spray fruit trees with a plant oil winter wash, if fruit aphids have been a problem before. Cover nearby grass and plants before spraying to avoid scorch.

Seed potatoes can be chitted from now onwards. Place in trays or egg boxes. Store in a light, cool, frost free spot.

Plant christmas flowering daffodils and hyacinths outdoors once the blooms have finished. Remove spent flowering heads and feed regularly with a high potassium fertiliser until foliage dies down.

For early crops, sow onions, leeks, cauliflowers and lettuce under cover now.

Prune established gooseberry, red and white currant bushes now. Remove dead wood and low lying shoots from their base. Shorten the tips of the main branches by one quarter, pruning to an outward facing bud.

Sweet peas can be sown this month and those sown in autumn can be potted on. Place them on a sunny window sill or a cold frame or green house.

Look out for spots or blotches on the leaves of pansies and violas, which may be caused by fungal disease. Remove infected leaves or the whole plant if badly affected. Do not put diseased plants or leaves in the compost bin.

Plan crop rotation for the coming season.