With Christmas and the New Year celebrations over with, it’s time to think about gardening trends for 2016, here’s what Nathan James Dodd foresees in the coming months.
Although the days are short and the weather generally overcast, Nathan James Dodd suggests various jobs that can be done in the garden during the month of January.
One of the most useful ways to start the New Year is to shred your Christmas tree, the needles will provide an acid rich mulch for blueberries, rhododendrons, azaleas, and hydrangeas.
Check the ties around trees, shrubs and climbers to see if they have survived the autumn gales, and that any protection around tender plants is still in place.
Look in your garage or shed to see whether Dahlia and Begonia tubers are still in good order and not rotting or drying out.
As December was so warm and wet, the lawn will need cutting and all the autumn leaves finally cleared.
Apple and pear trees need to be pruned when they are dormant, removing dead, diseased and overcrowded branches. Deciduous trees and hedges can also be pruned but leave cherries, plums and evergreens until the spring.
Cut the canes of autumn fruiting raspberries to the base. Remove about a quarter to a third of the oldest blackcurrant stems. Shorten the stems from last year's growth on gooseberries, white and redcurrants by about a half, cut back the small shoots that have emerged from side shoots to one bud.
Divide clumps of rhubarb that are congested, making sure they aren't waterlogged. For tender early stems you need to start to force your rhubarb to encourage early growth.
If the earth isn't too wet and sticks to your boots, it's still worth digging over vegetable plots to catch any frost and around perennials while working in organic matter.
Hardwood cuttings can be taken from Roses, Buddleja, Dogwood, Forsythia, Holly, Honeysuckle, Philadelphus, Viburnum and Willow as well as currants and gooseberries.
Plant bare rooted trees and move shrubs. Dig a generously sized hole and fill with soil, organic matter and a general fertilizer. Stake the trees, firm in and mulch. Deciduous hedges can also be planted at this time of the year.
In a heated greenhouse you can sow leeks, onions, carrots, radishes and lettuce and early salads. Also sow Begonia, Calendula, Lobelia, Salvia and Pelargonium in a propagator. Sweet peas can be sown as well and seedlings from an autumn sowing can now be pinched out.
Continue to dead head winter flowering pansies and other winter bedding, tidying them up and redirecting their energy into more blooms.
If that's not enough to be getting on with, continue housekeeping by making sure the shed and greenhouse are tidy and well organised. Sharpen your secateurs and loppers ready for pruning and think about servicing the lawn mower.
A new chapter opens for GardenSite on Wednesday 27 January, when our first TV advertising campaign appears on Sky. Senior Partner, Robert Hall, explains the thinking behind this new venture and what you can expect.
Whether you believe that roses are named after Eros, the god of love or that they are red due to the blood shed by Aphrodite when her lover Adonis was killed, they are intimately linked to St Valentine's Day according to Nathan James Dodd.
With the arrival of 'Storm Imogen', many people are likely to be contacting their insurance companies. Robert Hall explains how GardenSite can help you with making a claim for damaged garden structures such as sheds, greenhouses and fencing.
Although gardening activity in February may not be so frenetic as during the summer months, there's still plenty to be done and Spring is just around the corner. Nathan James Dodd suggests the jobs you should be tackling in the garden this month.