Gardening in January
Happy New Year! 2022 is upon us and with the temperatures starting to drop, the Christmas trees being packed away and the dark evenings almost seeming to creep up on us earlier, there’s no wonder January can be challenging on our motivation.
However, the beginning of the year can also be a time to plan ahead and decide what the garden has in store for you; what you want to challenge yourself with and may be even follow a few new trends. So, what is on the horizon?
We had all hoped that the pandemic was on the retreat, however, it may be something that we come to live with. We all spent a lot more time at home and enjoyed the simple pleasures, especially time in our outdoor spaces, so, there was no wonder that many of us turned our hand to gardening and gave both flowers and vegetables a go! During a very uncertain and stressful time, our gardens became our retreat, our haven, and our escape; a space to forget about the world and take a breath. Our mental health has never been more important, gone are the days that this subject is brushed under the carpet and our gardens can do wonders for our wellbeing.
Watching birds and wildlife in your garden is also one of the simple joys that can bring a wonderful sense of relaxation. Sadly, due to new developments and destruction of habitats, British wildlife is on the decline, so whatever we can do to help, the wildlife will thank us. During winter it’s much harder for birds to find natural sources of food, our great range of bird food will help keep them nourished and healthy during these cold months.
Don’t forget to join us for the Big Garden Birdwatch, all you have to do is count the birds during a one hour period in your garden, balcony or local park between the 28-30 January. The RSPB charity works tirelessly to protect the wonderful birds around us, so let’s do our bit and enjoy the simple pleasure of bird watching.
BIRD FEED FOR THE WINTER
Peckish Winter Warmer Extra Energy Bird Food 12.75kg – £19.99
Peckish Winter Warmer Extra Energy Seed Mix is packed with ingredients that are high in energy and fat content, giving garden birds a helping hand during the cold winter months.
High energy mix of suet, seeds and cereals
Make sure to check up on your bird boxes to ensure they are secured correctly and any nesting material from last year is removed. Make a note in your diary for National Nest Box Week, which starts on the 14th of February. Notably starting on Valentine’s Day, this is the start of breeding season for birds and a reminder for us all to pop up a bird box if we can.
If you opted for a real Christmas tree this year, it’s now easier than ever to recycle it but the branches are also great for wildlife habitats – bundle a few branches together and tuck them in little spots in your garden, behind borders and in a quiet corner and they will be sure to find it.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE COLOUR!
With their bright, bold colours and standout appearance there is no surprise that Dahlias were a top trend in 2021. Experts say it is only set to continue this year, with gardeners throwing all the colour at their garden and bold colours becoming a real statement. If the Chelsea Flower Show was anything to go by, it truly is all about the colour and why not! The pandemic sadly didn’t bring with it lots of positive news and moments to feel happy about. Instead, we put the joy into our gardens, making sure once we had packed up for the day we could walk into a space of happiness and colour.
There is no wonder cut flowers also saw a steady increase in popularity, whether it’s the enjoyment of seeing a plant grow from seed, creating your very own poesy or all the wonderful benefits it gives back to the environment – we’re sure this hobby is set to continue!
So, we have picked out a few cut flowers you can try your hand at growing. Of course, you can wait until the Spring for our wonderful Dahlias to arrive in store too!
Flowers you can sow now…
These make long-lasting cut flowers and with so many stunning colours to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice!
Sow: under cover from Jan to March
Height x spread: 70cm x 60cm
We would grow them purely just for their smell, but they also come in a huge range of colours too.
Sow: under cover from January to March
Height x spread: 180cm x 45cm
With their black central disc, these striking flowers can create their own posey by themselves. Lasting up to 2 weeks in a vase, both the Goldstrum and Cherry brandy varieties will look stunning in your home.
Sow: under cover February to April
Height x spread: 45cm x 25cm
One of the flowers that signify Summer for us, these delicate colourful
daisy shapes are from the Sunflower family and are invaluable for pollinators.
Sow: under cover from February to May
Height x spread: 75cm x 40cm
START THE YEAR SUSTAINABLE
Wherever we go these days we are reminded of the small things we can do to help the planet and with the recent COP26, it’s more apparent than ever that we need to change our way of living to ensure the future is bright.
It can sometimes feel that it is much bigger than us and it’s hard to believe that as an individual we can we make much of an impact? Small things can go a long way, and as gardeners there are many things we can do to make a difference!
- Cutting out all pesticides – sadly these can have a damaging effect on animals and insects that visit our garden therefore making a bigger impact on our ecosystem.
- Try and aim for peat-free compost, we have a great selection of peat-free compost in store and online.
- Plant a tree! If every one of us gardeners planted just one medium sized tree and nurtured it to maturity, they would store enough carbon equivalent to drive approx. 11 million times around our planet – now that is impressive.
- Start composting! One of our suppliers Westland has a great article on how to get you started: https://www.gardenhealth.com/advice/how-to-guides-2/how-to-compost
- Invest in a water butt – the simple process of collecting rain water rather than using your hosepipe to water your plants, simple!
- Plant for pollinators. Due to the heavy use of pesticides for industrial farming we have seen a massive decline in insects, including bees and butterflies. These are essential for a healthy eco-system, so if we can plant flowers and plants that attract pollinators we are doing our bit to help keep them alive! Keep an eye out for our blog dedicated to pollinating plants.
- Grow fruit and veg. Throughout the pandemic we saw a steady increase in first time gardeners giving fruit and veg a go, it can seem daunting, but just growing a handful of strawberries or trying some tomatoes is easier than you think. Plus, nothing tastes better than homegrown!
WHY GO PEAT FREE?
As we become more and more aware of what we can do to help the planet and reduce our impact on climate change, peat-free is high on the priority list.
Peatlands store carbon and when we extract the peat, releasing the carbon this makes up more than five per cent of all global human carbon emissions. Sadly, peatlands take thousands of years to form, so, the human damage is irreversible.
The peatlands not only store carbon, but they also control flooding, create homes for wildlife and most importantly, they are one of the most natural ways of healing the planet.
Shop our Peat Free composts:
New Horizon All Plant Compost 50L £6.99 per bag – Our peat free New Horizon Compost is made up of the BIO3 formulation specifically engineered to out perform all peat-based blends.
BOOST – Starts nourishing the plant immediately.
THRIVE – The open structure and Micro-Nutrients combine for total plant health.
SUSTAIN – Rich in goodness to feed your plants for longer.
MIRACLE-GRO AP ORGANIC PEAT FREE 40L – £7.99 a bag
Miracle-Gro Peat Free Premium All-Purpose Compost is part of the high-performing Miracle-Gro peat-free range. Containing a unique formulation that will ensure your plants are fed for 3 months, this peat free compost provides the optimum structure for roots to grow strong and preventing them from drying out.
Levington Multi-Purpose PEAT FREE + John Innes 50L – £6.99 per bag
Veritable Botaneo 2 Slot Garden £99.99 – the new way to grow your herbs and vegetables! You can harvest aromatic herbs, edible flowers, mini vegetables and many other species all year round.
The garden has a light spectrum suitable for edible plants, which accelerates growth and develops aromas. The lighting is controlled automatically: it turns on for 16 hours and turns off for 8 hours each day
The water reservoir and passive hydroponics provide the plants the right amount of water.
From 4 weeks until 6 months in, enjoy your aromatic herbs, greens, edible flowers, mini fruits and vegetables freshly harvested.
Shop the whole range here
Bio-Based Growing Tray (6 x 12cm Pots) only £4.29 – These pots and tray are made from 100% natural plant based raw materials, therefore contributing to a healthy and sustainable living environment.
Professional 40 Cell Inserts (Pack of 5) only £3.50 – Made from recycled and recyclable plastic and will fit most standard seed trays.
Organic, plus bee & insect friendly gardening products:
Slug Gone only £5.99 – a highly effective barrier against slugs and snails and suitable for organic gardening, made from 100% wool.
Miracle-Gro Fruit & Veg Organic Granular Food (£6.99) for Fruit & Veg, plant based and Organic certified.
Westland Organic Vegetable Liquid Plant Food, naturally rich in essential nutrients
Growing Success Safer Gardening Rose Guard, with natural ingredients and both bee & wildlife friendly
VivaGreen MossOff Chemical Free, Lawn Care concentrate, safe to children, pets, plants and pond life
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