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Top gardening jobs for January

From feeding birds to making compost, there's lots to do this month

Top gardening jobs for January

While many of us are cooped up at home, it’s a good opportunity to go into the garden on dry days and get ready for spring.

There’s nothing better than a bit of fresh air when you’ve spent so much time indoors and anything you do now will set you in good stead for the brighter months to come.

Which? Gardening sign up Bird feeder

1. Feed the birds

As natural food supplies run low, you can really help by putting out food for birds. Clean your feeders regularly with boiling water – there’s no need to add cleaning chemicals – and top them up little and often so that birds can rely on the food source. It’s also a good idea to provide some fresh drinking water. Good foods include fat balls, peanuts and mealworms.

See our Best Buy fatballs for birds.

Edging the lawn

2. Smarten lawn edges

Before the grass-cutting season begins again, get your lawn looking neat and tidy by recutting the edges to create a clear definition between the grass and the borders. A half-moon tool is designed for the job, but you can use a spade if you don’t have one. Use a wooden board as a guide to help get a straight edge, or use a hosepipe to get a curved edge.

Keep your lawn edges neat all season with a Best Buy grass trimmer.

Pressure washing the patio

3. Clean patios and decking

Dirt and algae can make patios and decking become super slippery in the wet winter weather. Cleaning them now will help make them safer and also get them looking good for when the weather warms up and we can sit outdoors again. A stiff broom will do the job, but to make it easier try using a pressure washer. Wellies are definitely a good idea as it’s a wet and messy job.

How to buy the best pressure washer.

Trimming the hedge

4. Plant a new hedge

Hedges make great garden boundaries, and provide habitat and food sources for wildlife. Winter is a great time to plant a new hedge as you can buy cheaper bare-root plants, which have been grown in a field instead of pots so you’re also reducing peat and plastic use. Try a specialist hedging nursery, such as Buckingham Nurseries or Ashridge Trees.

Find out how to cut different types of hedge.

Tidying a border

5. Tidy borders

Old plants can provide habitats and food sources for wildlife, so don’t be in too much of a rush to cut things back. But once they’ve become a soggy mess you can cut them back and put the remains in a compost heap where they will rot down and make mulch.

Learn how to make compost.

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