Many of you may be thinking about gardening in New Year? if you are, We’ve put together a list of our top gardening tasks for this month to make it easy for you. Let the first be maintenance.

Borders and Plants:
Dig over your beds and borders whenever the soil conditions allow. Doing this, and integrating as much organic matter as possible, is a great way to prepare your soil for the year ahead and reduce any pests, as they become exposed to hungry birds.
This month is still a great time to plant your bare root hedging plants and trees, providing the ground is not frozen. If this is the case, store your bare roots in a cool, dry place, such as a shed or garage, ensuring you keep the roots moist. When planting, if you are using a stake, always place this before the plant to avoid damaging the root system.It is safe to move established deciduous trees and shrubs now, as the roots will still be dormant – but again, check the ground is not frozen before doing this.
Bare root roses will establish easily if planted now, just remember to prune them back to prevent wind rock and to also encourage new growth from the base.
Keep bare soil covered. For the next few months any bare patches of soil should be covered in leaf mould or mulch. Mulch requires very little effort to lay, and is great for applying to the roots of established or flowering plants.

Pruning and training:
You can still prune apple and pear trees this month – when dormant, they can tolerate a good cut. Start collecting berries from your Cotoneaster and Pyracantha hedges as they will be ready to sow shortly, but make sure you leave a few behind for your garden birds.
Remove any broken branches, check ties and stakes are still secure and replace any worn supports.If you have not yet done so, use straw, secured with fleece or ties, to cover the branches of your deciduous trees and shrubs – this will protect them from the cold weather and prevent frost damage.Inspect your trees for damage or disease. It’s much easier to spot dead branches and cankers when the branches are bare.

General Maintenance:
Maintenance is the most important thing this month. Your garden is at its most dormant so there’s plenty of time to plan for spring.
Start to plan ahead by looking at seed catalogues and garden desig publications for inspiration. What better time to try something new, than in a New Year? Know your soil. Find out what plants will flourish best in your soil by testing the ph levels. You can buy inexpensive kits to do this. Have you ever wondered why your plants aren’t flourishing as well as you had hoped?
Testing your soil is the most accurate way to find out how to improve your soil type and in turn improve your plants! It’s time to sharpen and clean the blades on secateurs, mowers, loppers and cutting tools to ensure that they’re ready for action next spring. Keep up with odd jobs around the garden and give your sheds and greenhouses a really good declutter. Clear out of all dead or dying plants and generally tidy up. Remember tidying disturbs the hiding places of slugs and snails, reducing their numbers next summer.

Keep an eye on your lawn and don’t let the grass get too long. It is okay to give it a trim when dry, but avoid cutting it as short as you normally would in spring and summer.

Enjoy your garden and don’t forget to take time and stop and stare at the wonder of nature. Happy gardening!