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January is a good month to carry out repair jobs around the garden, such as replacing broken fence panels, re-felting your shed roof and treating and repainting all your timber.
Sort out the Christmas tree. If you have a live tree with roots, plant it in a sheltered spot in the garden, still in its pot, so it can be used again next year. If you have a cut tree and you've got a wood burner, leave it to dry out thoroughly, remove the branches and use it for fire wood. If you have no use for it take it to a council recycling centre for shredding.
Carry out all repair jobs around the garden, e.g. mend broken fences, re-felt the shed roof.
Treat and repaint fences, sheds, greenhouses, canes, stakes and garden furniture.
Clean, oil and sharpen the metal blades of garden tools: maintain mowers and other machinery, following the instructions in the user's manual.
Deal with slippery paths – wash paving and grit paths in icy weather.
Reorganise your storage space – make room for tools, barbecue accessories and gardening gear.
Carry out winter digging or forking over if the soil is not too wet or too frosty.
Redesign parts of the garden that aren't up to par now so that they are ready for planting in spring.
Plan your vegetable patch.
Cover soil with black polythene in mild locations in preparation for early sowings.
Prune standard apple and pear tress. Cut out any shoots that cross over each other, rub together in windy weather, are dead, diseased or dying or that point back into the middle of the tree instead of outwards. When cutting a shoot, go right back to the point where it grows out of a thicker branch and cut it very nearly flush.
Force rhubarb and strawberries.
Sow extra-early crops under glass if your greenhouse is frost-free or heated, as well as seeds pf house plants, tuberous begonias, pelargoniums, tender perennials and slow germinating greenhouse exotics in a heated propagator.
Keep off the grass or make a temporary path with heavy duty wire mesh or interconnecting wooden slats.
Sprinkle gritty horticultural sand on any areas where the lawn is soft and gooey.