You want to know more ?
We value our content, so access to our full site is only available by subscription.
Your subscription entitles you to 7 days a week access to our website, as well as a full digital copy of this week’s newspaper to read on your PC / mac or mobile device.
And that’s not all: your subscription includes access to digital archival copies from 2006.
technical support? Click here
It’s almost the start of a new year and the start of the gardening season.
It’s time to plan your planting and how you want your garden to look over the next few months, stock up on seeds, and maintain any essential equipment such as lawn mowers and tools.
It’s also time for New Year’s resolutions, so here are a dozen – one per month – that will make your garden super diverse and eco-friendly:
- Use less plastic
- To plant a tree
- Start sowing seeds
- Plant something for fun
- Grow more vegetables
- Go green and get started with organic farming
- Learn to relax and enjoy your garden
- Be more aware of the water
- Compost more of your garden waste
- Welcome wildlife
- Bring the outdoors with indoor plants
- Take care of your tools
First on the list is to use less plastic, something we all try to do in our daily lives, so it makes sense that we try to make our gardens as plastic free as possible.
The biggest âbad guyâ in a gardener’s life is the plastic pot.
It is estimated that 500 million plant pots and seed boxes are sold each year and the majority are sent to landfill or are incinerated.
But there are non-plastic alternatives such as biodegradable pots made from materials like coir, wood chips, bamboo, and rice husks.
A growing number of garden centers and nurseries are using biodegradable pots, but it’s worth checking their sustainability policies.
You can also make your own jars using tubes of newspaper or toilet paper. And now is a good time to stock up on your own biodegradable pots to have stock for the planting season in a few months.
If you have a stash of old newspapers on hand, simply wrap a 6-inch-wide strip of newspaper around a glass beaker, leaving 2 inches beyond the bottom of the glass. Fold the excess paper over the bottom, then press down on the glass to flatten the base of the jar. There is no need to secure your paper jar with tape, just slide it off the glass. When you’re ready to plant, simply fill with compost.
Taking good care of existing plastic is a good way to make sure you don’t have to keep buying it – so reuse any plant pots you have over and over again for new seedlings, cuttings, and plants.
If you take care of your multiplication trays and lids, repairing them if they crack, they will last for several seasons.
You can also reuse compost bags to store compost or turn leaves into mold.
The added benefit of recycling or reusing items in the garden is that it also cuts costs, just like growing from seed rather than buying established plants.
Even in winter you can grow something from seeds, you just need a seed box and a window sill, or a small cold frame or greenhouse – whatever it is. space and budgets allow it.
For anyone who grows their own veg, this month is a great time to sow onions.
If you sow onions now, it will save you from buying onion seedlings (small bulbs) later and you can have a much larger onion crop in the summer.
Onion seeds do not have a long shelf life, so it is best to buy new seeds every year.
Seeds germinate at 16-21 Â° C one to two weeks after sowing. When they are large enough to handle, transplant them into small, individual pots and store them in a bright, frost-free place until April, when they can be planted.
Varieties to try include Setton – high yielding, yellow skin and good storage potential; Red Baron – a late maturing red onion with globe shaped bulbs and a strong taste; and Hybound – an early variety with bronze brown skins that are excellent for long term storage.
Often on the coldest month in the garden, there are still things you can do to keep yourself busy.
According to the Royal Horticultural Society, January could be the middle of winter, but as the days get longer, the garden begins to grow. Now is a great time to plan for the upcoming gardening year and to order seeds and plants.
Take advantage of the fresh air on dry, sunny days and check that your winter protection, stakes, ties and brackets are still functioning after inclement weather.
Also, put some food for the birds and leave some areas of the garden uncut, a little longer, to provide shelter for the wildlife in your garden.
The top three jobs this month – cleaning pots and greenhouses ready for spring; dig on empty or unused plots; and prune apple and pear trees.
One way to protect the environment is to replace plastic plant pots with paper. no_a51jardinage01