Things to do in your garden in January.

January is not seen as an important garden month in many areas. Even in frost-free areas, it can still be a complicated month for gardeners. In some areas it may be warm enough to sow, but with unpredictable winter weather it is always a gamble. It is wise to keep your row covers on hand, just in case.

If you garden in a climate with long, cold winters you need to keep your patience to resist starting your seeds too early.

What you could do in this month is shop for your seeds and get your supplies in order. The beginning of the sow season is not far away!

plant pots

If you want to get a head start you can also start some of your seeds indoors so that they can germinate and the small plants become strong before you move them out.

As always, use common sense and your gardener instinct. And keep in mind that in every geographic area of the world the situation is different. Here is a list of things that you can give attention to in the coming period.

The lawn

You do not have to do anything now on your grass. But keep in mind to not walk over your lawn when it freezes as it may cause 'burn spots'. Often they grow out again in the spring, but that is not always the case. What you can do very well now is maintain your lawn mower if needed.

The vegetable garden

The work in the vegetable garden never really stops, even in the middle of winter. It’s a good idea to prepare a schedule for the start of the new plant season.

You can already plant fruit trees, but only if the frost is not in the ground. A fruit tree is still at rest and can thus get used to its new place.

Also think of the grape bush. Pruning can be done until halfway through this month. After that the juice flow starts and it will bleed if you prune it.

The border

Perennials are at rest and summer bloomers are of course not there now. That doesn't mean that your garden should be colorless in the winter.

Depending on the region where you live a number of Mahonia species bloom beautifully now, or how about the striking red branches of the Cornus alba?

plant in winter

Also the Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum), Witch Hazel (Hamamelis x), Snowball (Viburnum) or the Skimmia are beautiful shrubs that give color to your garden in winter. Hydrangeas are happy with an extra layer of peat. 


Pruning is done to keep trees and shrubs in the desired model and to help them in their growth. There is still enough to prune down in January. 

Provide good tools. A good cutting shear and/or tree saw is half the work.

Pollard willows can be cut down in this period. The most ideal is when there is a layer of ice on the water so you can easily prune your willows from the water's edge.

If it doesn't freeze during the day, you can still prune a lot of trees and bushes.

If you have a wisteria then this is the time, too. Prune the side shoots to about 10 to 15 cm.

After mid-January watch out for pruning the Walnut (Juglans), Birch (Betula), Chestnut (Aesculus), Grape (Vitis) and the Maple (Acer). The juice flow already gets going by then, so if you prune they will bleed.

Balcony and terrace

Your balcony/terrace is an extension of your living room. Make sure that the cozy, warm atmosphere does not immediately disappear with the end of the holidays.

Let Christmas lights hang or hang them around other plants, so you enjoy the twinkling lights even longer. Put winter violets in flower pots or baskets, so you have the same color on your balcony or terrace.

Cover bushes and shrubs, in pots the vulnerable roots are quickly affected by frost.

Feed the birds

Invite birds to your garden or balcony with a peanut pendulum, a feeder with bird food or juicy winter berries.

feeding birds in januari