10 Things You Can Do in Your Garden Now to Get Over the January Blues

January is a difficult time for many. The joys of Christmas seem a long time ago, the excitement of a new year quickly dims, daylight hours are still short, and the weather is often some of the worst of the year causing us to spend more time than ever inside. No wonder this feeling is called The January Blues.

The best thing to do is to look forward. It’s a new year and spring is just around the corner (you can see signs of it if you look hard!). Your garden may look unwelcoming but on mild days there’s still the opportunity to get out there, fill your lungs with fresh air and get it on track for the new season.

But what to do? Here’s what you can do to get outdoors (or think about it!) and push away the January Blues.

 

10 Things You Can Do in Your Garden to Chase Away the January Blues

 

1) It’s all in the planning

Even when the frosts are hard and it’s dark outside, there is nothing better than dreaming up what you’ll do in the garden when weather gets warmer. Now is a great time to browse online for ideas about how you can make the most of your garden in the coming year. Are you thinking about a big renovation, getting a deck installed, or perhaps swapping your muddy lawn for an artificial one so you can have lush grass year-round?

If you’re thinking smaller, you can start thinking about what plants you’d like to enjoy this year. Do your research (Gardener’s World have a great search tool here) and think about where they’ll go. If you like growing plants from seed, you can start ordering seeds now.

When choosing, think about color schemes, time of flowering, what suits your soil and in what position you want to grow the plants. You might also want to pick plants that don’t require much looking after if you want to minimize the work required.

So start drawing up your plans, talking to local landscapers for quotes for your new deck, and measure up your lawn for your new artificial lawn installation – you’ll be happy you got a head start come March!

Artificial Grass

 

2) Sort out your storage for spring

January is also a good time to root around in the shed or garage and check over your tools. Spades, forks, sheers and similar last a long time but not forever. They might just need a bit of TLC or it may be time to replace them.

If your lawn areas are natural grass then your lawn mower will certainly need a service. They get a lot of use during the growing season and always benefit from an annual service. Of course, if you have been wise enough to choose artificial grass then a lawn mower will be a thing of the past.

 

3) Harvest the last of your veg

If you have a vegetable patch or greenhouse you might still have produce to harvest. There are many veggies that are going strong in January and will help inspire some more exciting meals, such as:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Leeks
  • Turnips
  • Sprouting broccoli
  • Swedes
  • Parsnips
  • Jerusalem artichoke

Boiled, steamed, roasted or cooked in a casserole, nothing beats vegetables freshly picked from the garden. Not only do they taste good but they are healthy too.

Garden Greenhouse

 

4) Bring gardening inside

You don’t have to own a heated greenhouse to give some flowering plants a head start. Window sills and conservatories are great places to get things going that can be planted out when the weather becomes kinder. Look for plants that thrive in pots if you don’t want to do too much gardening.

Window Plants

 

5) Don’t forget the birds

January is a hard time for wildlife and you can make a real difference by regularly feeding the birds. They pay you back by adding life and color to your garden. The more variety of food you provide, the greater the species you will attract to your garden.

And don’t forget water. Water is just as important as food and making sure there is always (unfrozen) water available for our feathered friends can make a huge difference. Remember, gardens are the UK’s biggest nature reserve.

Bird feeding

 

6) Gardens are 3D

While most plants are at their lowest, literally, is the time to think ahead. Lots of plants need support if they are to attain their full glory and wow factor. January is a great time to put in obelisks, trellises, arches and other plant supports, even a pergola or rose arbor if it suits your garden plans.

There is a tremendous variety on the market suiting all styles and budgets. A well chosen plant support not only helps the plant but provides visual interest in the garden, even when you’re looking out on the frostiest of days.

Pergola Plants

 

7) Cleanliness is next to godliness

It is a little early for spring, but the first month or two of the year is the best time to get rid of the dirt and grime that accumulates on all your hard landscaping. Not only does the gunk look unsightly but it can be dangerous. Algae and dead leaves can make paving and decking as slippery as an ice rink, even when it’s warming up outside.

You have three options:

  • Sweep or use a spade to remove debris. Then use soap and water, a stiff brush and lots of elbow grease to remove light staining or for paving that may be delicate.
  • Remove debris with a broom or spade, then use a white vinegar and water solution and a stiff brush. This is good for heavier accumulations of dirt and is Eco-friendly. However, the vinegar solution can be damaging to some pots and many plants so make sure you remove these to a safe area before you begin.
  • A pressure washer will remove almost much everything and is quicker and less tiring than the previous two methods.

If you’re not interested in doing this yourself, hire someone to do it for you. While you’re at it, check the joints between paving slabs and the general condition of decking. Now is the time to repair any wear and tear.

Sweeping the patio

 

8) Check the condition of your garden furniture

This time of year is also the best time to give your garden furniture a once-over. It’s easy to pack it away, forgetting that two of the chairs need replacing, and only remember when you want to use them on the first warm day of spring.

If you entertain, good attractive and comfortable garden furniture is as important as the patio and flowers. Modern outdoor furniture is mostly impervious to British weather conditions but nothing lasts forever. Check your chairs and tables for wear and damage and repair or replace as necessary.

If you have teak furniture then a good scrub plus a coating of teak oil will increase their longevity and make it look beautiful again.

Furniture check

 

9) Remove leaf debris

This time of year is a common one to look outside and see that all those beautiful orange leaves that covered your garden in autumn have now turned brown. If you want to enjoy your garden sooner than later, grab a broom, rake, and a pair of gloves to start removing them. Focus on pathways and any flowerbeds that have bulbs planted for spring. Just be gentle – many of these spring flowers will start popping up their optimistic heads in late December or early January. Seeing the early signs of daffodils or snowdrops definitely raises the spirits! (Again, if you don’t want to do this yourself, you’ll definitely be able to find someone locally who will.)

leaf debris

 

10) Don’t forget to stop and enjoy

On those dreary days when it’s lashing rain, you probably aren’t going to look outside with excitement, but on frosty days when you’ve just fed the birds or you can see the start of spring on the shrubs in your garden you can start to feel more optimistic. By all means plan ahead and work out what your garden will look like in the summer or even years ahead, but don’t neglect to enjoy the peace and beauty of the moment.

 

 

January is not the busiest time in the garden and it certainly won’t look at its best but there’s plenty to see and do. By the time you’ve done the planning for the seasons ahead, finished the chores and maybe even have sat and enjoyed your January garden, the first month of the year will be over. Once February is here the weather begins to pick up, the birds start singing and flowers start appearing. Pretty soon spring is in full flow and all your planning and work will have been worth it.

If you’d like to see your lawn look green and well-manicured year-round, consider investing in an artificial lawn. You’d be surprised how realistic they look and how much they can lift the spirits in the dark months. Click here to find out more about why you should choose an artificial lawn or click here to order a sample now.

 

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