January is a quiet month in the garden. We can’t offer much to our gardens or fields. However, there are some things we can do, either to protect against the cold and frost, or because it is the season to do some cultivation or planting. Also, it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of the sunny, sweet days to take care of our tools.
The article was edited by the agronomists of Horomidis Agricultural Enterprises in Greece, Panagiotis Basiotis Panagiotis and Irini Phytas.
Weeding our vegetables in January, keeping the beneficial herbs (such as nettles) and scraping them
- We inspect the supports and stakes.
- We clean our flower beds, trellises and pots.
- We are careful not to let water accumulate in the saucers of our pots so that our roots don’t rot.
- We clean off the last dry leaves of our deciduous trees.
- We crush small pits in our trees and mix/fluff the soil.
- We weed our vegetables, save the beneficial herbs (such as nettles) and scrape them.
- We keep the dried leaves and other ingredients we can find to make our compote (such as dried wood).
- We clean the pipes and gutters of any dry leaves that may be blocking the passage of water.
- We select and purchase bulbs or rhizomes of summer and fall flowering plants (e.g. dahlias) and prepare to plant them at the end of the month through the end of February.
- We plant rose bushes at the end of the month.
In January we collect the dry leaves
- We dilute the watering and check that no rainwater stagnates anywhere.
- We pick up the fallen, dry leaves so that we don’t spoil our lawn.
- January is the right time to harvest some fruit trees (mainly citrus trees), as well as some vegetables (cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, cabbage or Brussels sprouts, etc.).
PLANTING – SOWING
- We sow in protected and heated seedbeds (in greenhouses) the early sowing of our summer vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, etc.
- We prepare our fields for the sowing of spring cereals.
- We plant garlic.
- We plant our deciduous fruit trees either in bare root form or with a soil ball (e.g. chestnut, apricot, apple trees, etc.).
- Cover and protect our plants (especially the most sensitive ones, such as white onions and banana trees).
- Collect fallen leaves in the plant pits for extra protection.
- We protect the beans that we sowed in the autumn by making a 20 cm border.
- We keep trees received during frost season in a hole and cover them with matting.
- If it snows heavily, we shake our fruit trees so that the heavy snow falls and the branches don’t break.
- We only water if there is a drought for several days, after strong winds.
- We water (if necessary) on the hottest days (e.g. alcyonide days).
Pruning in January
- We prune fruit-bearing, deciduous trees in order of priority. If possible, start from the heartwood (especially in warmer areas).
- Prune the vines (vines).
- We prune our deciduous ornamentals, such as roses and philadelphia.
Pruning on fruit trees is done for two reasons:
- To increase fruit set.
- To give shape.
In January we dig and apply manure
- If desired, we can enhance the autumn fertilization with repeated fertilisation or manure application.
- We spray our fruit-bearing, deciduous trees with copper and paraffinic oil to protect as much as we can the flowering and shoot buds from cold and fungal diseases that can occur after pruning. CAUTION! On pears of krystallia variety, we spray only with paraffinic oil and not with copper.
- Remove the weeds around the vegetable garden plants.
- We spray our vegetables with paraffinic oil to protect them from pest eggs.
- We clean our tools from dried soil or dead grasses.
- We wash the oilseeds.
- We oil our pruning shears.
- We polish the rusty parts of our tools and sharpen them.
- We check that our automatic watering system is working properly. We fix any leaks and clogged parts (e.g. injectors), check our electric valves, change batteries in our programmers, etc.).
- If we have decorated a live spruce, cypress, boxwood, arbutus, cedar or any other coniferous tree for Christmas, it’s time to take it back out into the cold because the heat of our home is taking its toll on it. We can take it out on the balcony or plant it in our garden.