What to Do in the Garden in January

January isn’t a pleasant month weather-wise. The rain, cold, and wind can mean our time spent outside is limited for both comfort and safety.

But there are a few positives to be looked at. The mornings do start getting a bit lighter, with the days becoming longer. Weather permitting, new growth from bulbs in the ground can emerge, too.

So, while we aren’t encouraging you to spend hours in the rain revamping your garden, here are a few things you can do to ensure your garden will be ready from the minute you’re allowed to enjoy it.

Always wear PPE when carrying out any work in the home or garden. For winter gardening, you’ll need to stay warm, so layer up and finish off with a protective waterproof layer. Also, wear goggles and gloves if using power tools.


Your January Gardening Checklist


  1. Check over your tools

The pruning, trimming, and lawn care aren’t far away now. While they aren’t in use, check over your tools if you haven’t already in winter.

Even if you did check them once you’d packed up in autumn, look over them again and ensure there’s been no leaks in the shed or the frost hasn’t got to them.

Make a note of what needs repairing and replacing, such as oil secateurs. Also, service any electrical garden tools, such as lawnmowers. Check cables, power buttons, fuses, and fixings before giving them a quick power-up and packing them neatly away again.

If anything needs replacing, budget for it now, or even look for one while the prices are cheaper compared to the height of the gardening season.

Also consider hiring any tools you need, especially if your trusty rotavator, leaf blower, hedge trimmer, or chipper shredder is on the blink. They can be expensive to buy for the number of times you use them, so hiring can save you money—and time, as you don’t need to carry out repairs or services!


  1. Clear the garden

You probably weren’t too concerned about fallen leaves in your flower borders over the festive period. But you will be surprised at how much has happened outdoors over Christmas.

Go out into the garden and make a list of everything which needs clearing. Leaves in flower beds will be preventing the soil from breathing and new flowers from emerging, so remove dead leaves as soon as possible. The same applies to leaves and moss on paths, which can be a slip hazard.

SPEEDY TOP TIP: Dead leaves can be added to your compost heap, which will help with next year’s planting and potting!

Use a leaf blower to try and get them all into a pile and make it easier to collect them. If they’re too wet, manual sweeping with a yard brush could be needed.


  1. Sort your seeds

If you plant seeds for vegetables, fruit, and flowers, sort through them this month, so they are ready for planting. Make a planting calendar which is specific to what you have and when you want to be harvesting the goods.

If any require early sowing, get everything you need ready, including compost, labels, and pots. Clear your greenhouse if you have one or look around for a mini greenhouse. Winter salads can be planted now, for instance, and will be ready to harvest within weeks.

Throw away any seeds which are past their best, or you’re unsure what they are. Plan your crops out too; you should always plant in a crop rotation style, to fully aerate and break up the soil versus what was in the raised beds last year.


  1. Make repairs

Wind, rain, and even snow can cause damage to fences, gates, and other security features in your garden. Again, while you should check them every month (or after every bad storm, especially if you have a dog who uses the yard), the Christmas period probably saw it take a backseat.

Check locks and hinges for any damage and use a combination drill to repair any screws required. A hammer can knock in any new fence panel pins or use a nail gun for extra power.

Also, check the wiring to security lights and cameras, and all wires are secured to a surface so they don’t blow in the wind.

Take a look for anything else which may need repairing too. Raised beds don’t have to be a priority just yet, but if any wood looks worn, make a note to get some tools and materials to replace it.

You may want to treat wooden structures with a preservative if you get a dry day.


  1. Care for the wildlife

Top up birdbaths daily and defrost any frozen water with boiling water. Leave seed or suet balls out and think about any visitors you have to the garden who may be on the ground, too.

If you have space, put up some birdboxes in sheltered spots. This gives birds ample time to check out their new abode before nesting begins! Use a drill to ensure it is secured to the tree trunk, fence post or wall.

While water butts need to be opened to collect rainwater, also try and cover them up as much as possible to save any wildlife from taking a drink and not being able to get out again.




Thank you for reading our Speedy Hire blog on what to do in the garden in January!

We have loads of inspiration for tasks in our blog and on our Skills and Projects page.

You’ll find all the power tools and hire equipment you need right here. Open a Speedy account online or in-store for all your tool hire needs.


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