Crops to sow and plant in January – ‘beautiful blooms’ by spring

Gardening: Expert advises on growing climbing plants

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The winter months are great for gardeners to start sowing seeds which will flourish in the spring and summer months. Chris Bonnett from said: “January is a great time to get in the greenhouse and start sowing seeds ready to plant out into the garden later in the year. The joy of greenhouse gardening is that you can sow and grow exactly what you want, safe in the knowledge that the young plants will be well protected from the worst of the winter.

“There are also plants you can get straight into the garden like bare root fruit trees and roses, and those you can plant and watch grow in your home on a sunny windowsill.”

1. Bare root fruit trees

According to the expert, bare root fruit trees are dormant in the winter months so now is a great time to plant them and they can go directly into the soil.

Ideally, gardeners should plant them in a spot with full sun and plenty of room for the branches to grow. Chris said: “Make sure your soil, if it isn’t waterlogged or frozen, is well prepared before you plant – this will give your tree the best chance of success.”

2. Bare root roses

Roses can be expensive plants, but they do last for many, many years and according to professionals, are easy to establish, providing the garden with plenty of colour. 

Like fruit trees, bare root roses also go dormant during the winter months. They should be planted in a large enough spot with plenty of sunshine and away from other plants like trees and hedges.

Bare root roses should be planted as soon as they are received, or if ground conditioners are unsuitable, unpacked and kept in a container of slightly moist compost and planted as soon as conditions allow.

3. Broad beans

The gardening expert explained: “Broad beans are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. Plant each seed in a deep pot and water regularly.

“They should be ready to plant out in about six weeks.” There are many varieties to choose from, cropping at different times, growing to various sizes, and with different flower colours or pod sizes.

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Gardeners should check which broad beans they will be growing before sowing them or planting them in the garden. 

4. Brassicas

Chris continued: “Sow cabbage and cauliflower seeds in the greenhouse this month for an early crop. Simply place the seeds in a seed tray and water regularly.”

These crops will then be ready to set out in the garden between the months of March and April, if they look like they are ready.

5. Flowers

Flowers are a great way to add colour and texture into the garden, no matter what size space you are working with. Gardeners can sow geraniums, sweet peas or begonias this month in the greenhouse.

Chris said doing this job now will ensure “beautiful blooms later in the year”. He added: “These can all be sown in seed trays and placed in the greenhouse.”

Gardeners with a sunny windowsill can also sow seeds and make use of the light on their windowsills if they don’t have access to a greenhouse.

6. Herbs

The gardening expert explained: “If you have a sunny windowsill, now is a good time to plant seeds and leave them on your windowsill to grow.

“The winter sun is strong enough to bring these to life. Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow, so if you’re a garden novice, this is a good place to start.”

7. Winter bedding plants

Gardeners wanting to inject some instant colour into their gardens can still do so by planting some winter bedding plants. According to Chris, pansies and cyclamen are a good choice for interest and colour.

Gardeners can also lay a new turf or repair hollows and bumps on existing lawn this month, according to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). 

To repair patches, make a H-shape cut in the turf, peeling back the grass and filling it with loam. Then, relay the turf and press it into place, pinching the cut edges together.

The experts said: “Repair lawn edges, especially around flower and shrub beds, with turves cut from other areas of the garden.

“If your lawn suffers dieback from treading during the wet, muddy season, then consider laying stepping stones through it to allow easy access across it without causing damage.”

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