For many gardeners, January is about planning for the fruits of their labour. Instead of being glum about the unpredictable weather, successful gardeners will be taking the opportunity to sit back and think about what they want to achieve this year.
From the bigger decisions such as the purpose of the garden, the overall look and the amount of maintenance that is possible right down to the detail such as what to sow and propagate this spring.
In January, we see many gardeners coming in for their potatoes. Buying your seed potatoes early and getting them to ‘chit’ indoors (that’s where they start to produce shoots) helps you get a head start and reach the cropping stage sooner. There’s no flavour quite like newly-dug potatoes that are cooked right away, and if you’ve never tried this before, don’t worry, our information leaflet can be found here
It’s really important to buy good quality seed potatoes. Potatoes can be affected by numerous pests and diseases but the UK has followed a rigorous plant hygiene policy to ensure the health of potato seed stock in this country. Seed potatoes need to be certified before they can be sold, and at Merryhatton we believe that it’s difficult to beat East Lothian certified seed potatoes. We source most of our potatoes within East Lothian and we have a great selection of varieties available from January onwards.
In January you can also plan what other veg you might fancy growing (and eating!). There’s very few vegetables that are difficult to grow: but they all require two important ingredients – tlc and some hard work! There’s something incredibly satisfying about working to grow the food we eat, and the flavours are incomparable to the mass-produced vegetables we buy otherwise. And as with the potatoes, if you need some help, our information leaflet can be found here
For gardeners who want colour in the garden, January can be a real challenge! There are some plants that have notable winter barks and berries, so this could be the time to look at other gardens and see what you might plant in your garden over the coming season to get that result next winter. Hellebores are fabulous at this time of year, as they bravely flower despite the weather, and if you didn’t get your bulbs planted in the autumn, we’ve got a wonderful range of growing bulbs that you can plant and enjoy their flowers this spring (and usually for many years afterwards). As always, our Acorn Card members can enjoy a special price on growing bulbs in store.
And let’s not forget the wonderful colour and interest our garden birds provide in the winter garden. January can be a hard month for birds, particularly if the temperature is low, but providing high-energy food such as nuts or fat balls and some water will provide hours of entertainment watching our feathered friends enjoy themselves in your garden. If you can attract the birds in to your garden now, you can set up nesting boxes next month and have all the joy of seeing the birds nesting and producing their young. Who can resist the sight of baby birds being reared? We have a comprehensive bird care section at Merryhatton so you should find what you need to have your own ‘wild aviary;’ in your garden.
And that’s about it for January! As always, if you need some help, we’re always happy to talk about gardens!
The Merryhatton Plant Team
Scott, Ann & Julie