The start of a new year, time to plan what you want to do in your garden over the coming year. Look at seed catalogues and order which seeds you would like to sow. Wash pots and seed trays and clean the glass on your greenhouse. Plant bare-rooted trees and shrubs now. Cut back foliage of hellebores to show off their beautiful flowers.
Sow early peas such as ‘Feltham First’ for harvesting in May/June. Broad beans can be sown inside now, to plant out in February. Prune gooseberries and redcurrants to maintain an open-centred bush with eight to ten main branches and prune last year’s growth on the main stems by about half. Prune apple and pear trees.
To dig or not to dig, that is the question! Digging is an emotive subject. Winter digging was always considered essential, especially on heavy soils such as clay, to let the weather at the soil and help to break it down. For me, the best approach is to lay compost on top and let the soil life take it in.
Every time you dig the soil, you are upsetting the soil life and allowing for erosion.