Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January in the Garden

January is traditionally a warm month and holidays are being taken. It is important that the garden survives nicely on its own. Ensure it is weed free and that it is really well watered. Deep watering is essential. To ensure excellent growth apply or top up the mulch. Mulches keep the soil cool and moist as well as providing much needed nutrients.

Vegetable Garden
• Sow crops of peas, French beans, turnips, lettuce, radish, mustard, silver beet, prickly spinach, kohl rabi, beet root, bok choy, parsley, climbing beans, dwarf beans, carrots and swedes.
• Lift early potatoes and use for your summer meals.
• Support sweet corn with stakes if exposed to strong winds.
• Mulch runner beans and other crops if necessary with compost.
• Plant brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, silver beet and late celery.
• When planting vegetable plants use plenty of compost.
• Marrows and pumpkins will be sending out flowers on runners. Remember they have male and female flowers.
• Onions, garlic and shallots should be lifted when the tips go yellow. The bulbs must be dried to ensure good storage for later use.
• Asparagus. Stop cutting shoots and let them grow to ensure the roots store energy for the next summers crop.
• Rhubarb should not be harvested after Christmas. Remove flower spikes and seed heads to encourage good root growth.
• Outdoor tomatoes. Ensure they are staked and tied to prevent them falling over. Control chewing insects. Remove side shoots (laterals) and any old yellowing leaves at the base. Apply a balanced fertiliser. Keep up a regular watering cycle that will ensure even growth and ripening of tomatoes. This will also prevent the fruit splitting and the onset of blossom end rot.
• Zucchinis’. Harvest daily to ensure a continuous crop.
• Mound up potatoes to ensure the new potatoes do not go green.
• Ensure watermelon plants are growing well with plenty of water.
• Kumera plants will be sending out long shoots ensure these grow along the row as they can put down roots anywhere.
• Mound kumera to protect young kumera tubers.

Ornamental Garden
• Summer pruning of a range of flowering shrubs should be done now. Remove the branches and shoots but leave a nice strong branch framework for the shrub.
• Sow seeds for winter annual display. Wallflowers, stock, polyanthus, pansies, myosotis and violas.
• Trim hedges.
• Take cuttings of a variety of shrubs and semi shrubs and place in sharp sand undercover. Keep cool and moist.
• Mulch the flower garden if there is insufficient mulch on the ground.
• Remove dead heads from roses by pruning back to the first 5 leaflet leaf.
• Train climbing roses by tying new canes into position and remove canes not required.
• Spray roses for pest and disease control.
• Remove dead heads from all flowering plants and shrubs.
• Lift spring flowering bulbs and replant in appropriate place for next year.
• Climbers. Ensure these are trained throughout summer. It is easier to do now when the stems are soft and supple rather than when they are hard and woody and likely to break.
• Perennials. If required ensure they are staked and tied up.
• Watering. Ensure all parts of the garden are well watered not just a light sprinkle over the top. Water containers daily.
• Control thrips and red mite on a variety of plants
• Divide and replant bearded iris and only use the young vigorous rhizomes
• Plant anemones and ranunculus corms now.

• Mow regularly. Regular mowing makes a better lawn. Do not mow it too short, a bit longer will save a lot of watering.
• Remove lawn weeds as they appear.

Conservatory and Indoor Plants
• Begonias. Take care of these tender plants ensuring even temperature, good soil, good drainage, light shade and frequent watering with liquid fertiliser.
• Ensure all indoor plants are well watered.
• Provide nutrients either by liquid or pellets.
• Apply some artificial shading in the form of shade cloth if it is getting too hot and the plants are suffering or the leaves are turning yellow

Home Orchard
• Raspberries suckers that are well away from the main plant should be removed.
• Black currants should be picked and prune out very old branches to thin bush out.
• Red currents should be picked, remember they flower on the old wood.
• Boysenberry stems should be trained along a fence
• for next season
• Remove runners from strawberry plants.
• Apply an all purpose spray to fruit trees.
• Check peaches and nectarine for curly leaf. It is probably too late to spray now but spray in autumn and spring with copper based spray.
• Ensure citrus trees are well mulched, fertilised and well watered.

• Tomatoes need to be tied up each week. Remove and side shoots (laterals) and older yellowing bottom leaves.
• Early ripe fruit will appear, pick it while it is firm.
• Regular watering is essential.
• Capsicums require lots of water regularly.
• Control chewing insects on each crop.
• Keep the vents open so that the glasshouse provides protection but does not turn it into a hothouse which will then cook the plants.
• Ensure cucumbers are able to climb freely.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Alan, I'm interested in your Harvey Has Beans. Is this a variety that you've named yourself? Would you like to swap some seed? I am collecting heirloom bean varieties.
Mark Christensen