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Jobs for January in the Cutting Garden


It may still be the middle of winter, but there's plenty of plotting, planning and ordering to be getting on with.


Weather & soil conditions permitting

  • Get the last of any spring flowering bulbs you've been procrastinating over into the ground, it's your last chance. You may be able to hoover up some bargain tulip bulbs -look for firm, clean bulbs with no signs of rot and get them in asap.


  • It's time to plant out late summer sown foxgloves to their final flowering positions if they've been overwintering in the greenhouse or cold frame. Acclimatise them well to conditions outdoors by 'hardening' them off properly to give them a fighting chance once they're out in the garden.


  • It's a good time to pull out any perennial weeds you see. The roots won't have had a chance to properly take hold yet, so they are much easier to pull out now that waiting for the spring when they'll have anchored themselves in.


Keep an eye on things

  • Check stored dahlia tubers for any signs of rot and remove any infected parts. If any tubers have started drying out and look a little shrivelled water them sparingly.owar

In the greenhouse

  • Overwintered autumn sown hardy annuals like ammi, orlaya and daucus carota will need to be potted on once they've outgrown their current pots or cell trays. At this point I'm generally moving them from 40 cell trays to 15 cell trays or individual 7cm pots. When they are ready, the roots should hold together when you lift them out - or you might see the tell-tale sign of small white roots popping out from the bottom of their cell tray.

Sow annual seeds

  • Towards the end of the month start sowing slow-growing annuals like Iceland poppies, snapdragons, larkspur as well as sweet peas either in a greenhouse (ideally with a heated mat) or indoors under lights.

Time for a spot of armchair gardening - get ordering and planning

  • Take some time to plan out your cutting garden for this year - look back at any pics to help you figure out what worked last year and what didn't.


  • Do a seed inventory and then place an order for any extra hardy annuals and perennials. I wait until later in the season to put another order in for half-hardy and biennials.


  • Order summer flowering bulbs and tubers such as dahlias and gladioli. Ordering Dahlias now means that you'll be amongst the first in the queue and that means you should receive the tubers in time for taking cuttings at the end of February to increase your stock.


  • It's coming up to the ideal time to plant bare root roses, get your order in for any new varieties you want now.


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