January  –  Happy New Year, Janus

January the first month of the new year, where did last year go ? A strange unexpected year that seems to have flashed by. Good news from a gardening front though as apparently in the lockdowns a whole new crop of returnee and new gardeners have picked up their shears and dibblers to start growing.  I hope if you are in that group you’ve enjoyed your gardening year, especially the pleasures of sitting enjoying the flowers you have grown or eating the results of your hard work.

An enjoyable January task will be sitting down with a pad and pencil, lots of seed and plant catalogues to plan 2021’s planting and produce. There is so much choice and variety, aren’t we lucky?


January named for Janus the two faced Roman god who looks forward and back. That certainly applies for gardeners at this time of year. A quiet month, looking back at what went well – potatoes, tomatoes (didn’t everyone have a glut !), aubergenes, peppers and chillies, varieties of which I will be re-planting in 2021. Recognising also what did not succeed and deciding where to try something different e.g. 3 years of failing to grow sweet potatoes, lots of folliage but no tubers mean it’s butternut squash instead this year. 

I like to try something different each year either a new vegetable or new varierty. This year I am trying ginger, avacado indoors and some different varieties of beans and peas out as last years pods weren’t stunning . Try planting herbs in pots on a sunny window sill to brighten a room  I’m still picking window sill tomatoes from last year.


On the practical side January is tidy and clean month …Check and clean the greenhouse especially  guttering , sort the pots and equipment ready for the spring. Outdoor plants pots put on stands / bricks so they don’t get waterlogged. Mulch and prune fruit bushes to encourage a good crop. Keep leaves clear from new bulbs. Chit the early potatoes . Clear out dead and decaying materials.  Prune fruit canes. Finally check, clean and maintain tools.  I am sure you have more to add to the list. 


Time to potter and watch the daffodils and narcissi greenery appear ….Happy New Year All

Some links for new gardeners :-  Compostthis.co.uk for first time gardeners wondering what the magic work Composting means, this site explains.  RHS.org.uk –advice and information source for gardeners. 


Jacky Smith

Membership Secretary