Gardening Tips for January

The quiet month for gardening still has a few tasks to keep a gardener occupied.

Inspect your ornamental shrubs for scale insects

Ensure that the fish are ok. If your pond freezes DON'T HIT THE ICE TO BREAK IT. Instead, use hot water to melt a hole. Place a ball on the surface to stop the hole freezing up

Keep the bird feeders full. Remember, more birds surviving the winter means fewer slugs when summer comes.

Stay off frosty lawns - nasty footprints will stay for weeks if you walk on a frosted lawn

If you need to clear ice from a path, use sand or sawdust instead of salt which will damage nearby plants.

A great idea I saw on the University of Nebraska website was to use the opportunity of the january 'downtime' to paint handles of garden tools in bright red or orange paint. This will allow you to find them easily when you put them down in the long grass in summer.