Well, we've all made it to a new year! January is the perfect time to relax a little and appreciate the warm weather, bright flowers and fresh veggies. Just remember our plants need to stay hydrated as much as we do!
Many of us have put a lot of effort into the garden over the last few years. Here's to a 2022 spent enjoying the results of our labour.
Night Sky Petunias have an incredibly distinctive starry sky pattern that is sure to stand out! They are as easy to care for as other petunias and are perfect for garden beds, pots or hanging baskets.
For me, January is the first month of 'true' summer. It is hotter and drier and heat-loving plants get to enjoy some serious warmth.
Bougainvilleas will finally be available this month and now is the best time to plant them. We will have the taller, more vigorous climbing varieties plus the smaller, bushier ‘Bambino’ varieties suitable for pots and smaller gardens. They love a sunny spot with compost improved, well-drained soil.
Gardenias, Crepe Myrtles, Stephanotis, Vincas, tomatoes and chillies have endured a cool, wet, overcast spring but can now enjoy the warmth and really get going. These plants all love the heat and are happy to be planted into the warm soil.
January is also the middle of the warm growing months (October to April) and is the ideal time to prune long-flowering perennials to rejuvenate them for autumn display. I prune Salvias, Gauras, Fuchsias, Geraniums, and leggy Petunias now by about 20-30%. Feeding them encourages a new flush of growth and flowers in autumn.
Things to do:
- Give your garden and pots a dose of Rapid Soak wetting agent and follow up with a good quality mulch. This will ensure better water penetration and less water evaporation.
- Occasional deep soaking watering will ensure your fruit trees will bear their maximum crop and prevent dried up floury fruit. Smaller, shallow-rooted plants enjoy regular, light watering as they have less capacity to store water. On hot days it’s great to water over plants to cool them down.
- January is also the perfect month to prune traditional Hydrangea Macrocarpa to ensure they flower prolifically next spring and summer. Cut them back by 60% with hedge clippers. We don’t recommend winter pruning of traditional Hydrangeas.
- Lightly trim Sasanqua Camellias into shape now. Don’t prune hard as flowers are being formed now. A good feed will also encourage flower formation.
- There is still time to plant basil. Feed existing basil while you're at it. I make multiple batches of pesto and freeze it to stretch the season out through Winter.
- Keep an eye out for Lawn Beetle Grub in lawns.
- Feed all fruiting veggies such as tomatoes, chillies, cucumbers and zucchini with a high potassium, complete fertiliser to maximise fruiting.
- Prune English Lavender after flowering has finished. Prune hard but not to bare wood—they need a little foliage remaining to sustain regrowth. French Lavender is at its lowest ebb this month and loves a hard prune to rejuvenate. Leave a fringe of viable foliage and never prune to bare wood.
- Gardenias may still need feeding to keep them green and flowering. I normally give them an annual light prune in January but will postpone until February this year. They love being watered over the foliage to increase humidity.