It's the start of the new gardening year, and what better time to pick up new gardening tips you can use throughout the oncoming months. Here are some simple beginner's steps you can do during January…
Start the potatoes sprouting in egg boxes on the windowsill in January or February, then plant them into the pot or poly bag in March.
Keep the plants well watered and in late May you'll be harvesting the yummiest, freshest potatoes you've ever tasted!
2. Pick some 'scensational' sweet peas!
Sweet peas are about the easiest and prettiest flowers that anyone can grow.
Buy a packet of seeds from the garden centre and sow them indoors now (be sure to keep them in a cool spot). Or even easier, order already germinated young seedlings from QVC, which will be delivered to you in March – the ideal time for planting in the garden.
Plant out your seedlings in a sunny spot, either in the garden against a fence or wall, or alternatively into a big pot. Pop in some 2m (6') high bamboo canes for the plants to grow up.
Keep them well watered and by the time May's ending you'll be picking your first of many months of these beautiful, fragrant flowers.
Pop the pot outside on your patio, water regularly and they'll burst into stunning blooms in July.
All you need is 30.5cm (12") hanging basket, five strawberry plants and some mulitpurpose compost.
Plant the basket now and keep it well watered. From early April feed the plants once a week with a high potash feed such as Flower Power. By early July you'll be picking your very own juicy and sweet strawberries!
5. Perk up your patio
Looking to pack your patio with colour on a budget? Plug plants are amazing value as they're a fraction of the cost of the full grown plants plants sold in garden centres later in the spring.
The nurserymen have done all the hard work for you, so all you have to do is pot on the little plants, grow them on a sunny windowsill until after the last frosts in May, then plant them outdoors.
Canny gardeners get the pick of the crop by ordering their plug plants for early delivery from March onwards – the perfect time to grow them!
I hope these tips have inspired you to get out there, and I wish you all a year of happy gardening!
Check out our plants and flowers.