Right job, right time: an effortless action plan for a gorgeous garden

Welcome to Project Nurture’s new blog!  Each week we will publish a new post based on 4 series that will run throughout the year, with the occasional one off topical article.  Please follow us and get tips and advice on all things garden, nature and ecotherapy.  We really hope you will enjoy and we would love to hear your feedback.
Whether your garden is big or small, if you want a beautiful and richly rewarding garden, it’s important to tackle the right jobs at the right time.  By doing just a little bit each month, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy to fruits of your labour.  This blog series gives you monthly advice & actions for your garden.  Start enjoying your garden more!

January to do

It’s usually fairly quiet this month apart from perhaps starting to raise plants from seed and trying to keep the garden looking good. So why not take time to relax in the warmth of your home, and think about what you would like to grow and where this year. Perhaps make yourself a little mood board from magazine pictures or internet images to inspire you and refer to throughout the year.  Also, now is the perfect time to think about any changes you would like to make to the garden, such as a new patio, pergola or even a partial or full redesign.  Research and make contact with a couple of garden designers if you need help or inspiration. Or look at our Pinterest boards and get in touch!  January can be a tough month for many, and this activity may just help to lift your mood a little even on a cold, miserable day.

Continue to plant bare root roses, hedging,

bare root hedging
Bare root hedging

raspberries and other soft cane fruit. However, if soil conditions are unsuitable when you receive your plants, plant them temporarily in a spare piece of land or pot to prevent the roots drying out, until there is an improvement.  Make sure there is adequate wind protection (stakes and ties if necessary) for these new and more delicate friends!


To let in more light, the greenhouse roof can be washed down removing dirt and grime. It is also a good idea to empty and clean water-butts and gutters. Trays and pots can be cleaned ready for use. Another idea is for tools and equipment such as lawnmowers to be cleaned, sharpened and serviced.

If you haven’t done so already, stand planted patio pots up on feet so that they are slightly raised from direct contact with the ground, to improve drainage and reduce water logging. Also during very cold spells move them to a sheltered position or cover them (and the pot) in fleece.

naughty leaves

Naughty leaves!

Disperse worm casts in lawns and pick up any debris and leaves that fall to help prevent the spread of disease and moss, and the smothering of delicate grass plants.  If the lawn is frosty or the soil is very damp, don’t walk on it as it will damage the cells of the grass and the structure of the soil which is important for a healthy lawn.



Inspect stored tubers of Dahlia, Begonia and Canna, and stored apples and veg for rots or drying out.  Cut out any areas of rot and re-wrap in new paper, sawdust or straw.

Prune apple and pear trees, and fruit bushes.  Aim to thin out crossing or overcrowded branches, and reduce height.  Prune just above a bud if reducing height.

Start forcing rhubarb. Dormant clumps of early rhubarb can have buckets or forcing jars placed over them.  This will encourage stems to form giving an early harvest.

Hungry goldfinch!

Hungry goldfinch!

Please keep putting out food and water for hungry birds, including those visiting us over winter from colder climes.  Sunflower hearts are hugely popular for many species of bird, and ground feeders will appreciate foods high in fat and protein – specialist ground feeding mixes, mealworms, or cheese, oats or egg.


Leave netting in place that was put over ponds last month so as to prevent any falling leaves from going in. Also if any filters or pumps haven’t been removed yet it may be worthwhile doing so thereby avoiding any damage from freezing water during cold winter spells.

That’s it folks, we hope you can shake off the January blues in the garden just a little bit.

Coming next week: Plant and problem of the month!

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