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At first glance, in January there is little to do on the balcony, garden or terrace. In fact, you can do little in the vegetable garden now. But in the ornamental garden, orchard and herb garden. And you can slowly but surely prepare your balcony, garden or terrace for spring. Besides, with the right houseplants, you can now turn your house or apartment into a small flowering oasis.
As a rule, nothing blooms in January. If you are lucky, one or the other winter-flowering ornamental plant still bears flowers, for example, Christmas roses or snowdrops. But soon your ornamental garden will bloom again. In January, you can sow the seeds of these cold-germinating and early-flowering plants, such as columbine, directly into the frost-free soil:
You can also plant the bulbs of early flowering ornamental plants such as grape hyacinths or ornamental leeks now, if the bed is frost-free:
January is the ideal time to cut summer-flowering ornamental shrubs such as bearded flowers, hibiscus, hydrangeas, St. John's wort or summer lilacs.
If it is (too) dry in January, you should water evergreen plants such as bamboo or cherry laurel and winter-flowering plants such as Christmas roses or snowdrops more frequently.
In principle, you could still plant hardy fruit trees such as apple or pear in January. However, it makes more sense to wait a few more months. Less robust fruit trees such as apricot, fig or peach should be planted in spring. If you have not yet given your fruit trees a winter pruning, now is the last time to do so: on a frost-free and dry day, cut off all inward-growing and/or crossing shoots, thin out the tree crowns, remove all broken or diseased branches, and seal the cuts and wounds with a wound closure agent. Before the days and especially nights get really cold, lime all tree trunks to protect fruit trees from frost cracking. If you have true elderberry growing in your yard, cut it back before spring to control growth and increase yields. It's best to do it now, then it's done.
If you need to cut down an old or diseased tree, you should do it in winter because the wood is drier than in spring, summer or fall. Smaller trees can be cut down by yourself, but larger trees should be cut down by a professional for safety reasons.
If you store fruit in the cellar, you should check the stored goods once a week for bruises, diseases, pests and other injuries. Ventilate the fruit and vegetable storage regularly so that the ethylene can escape, which promotes and accelerates the ripening process.
In winter, you do not have to do without fresh herbs. In January, you can plant basil, dill, cress, oregano, parsley, chives or thyme in the indoor herb garden. And sprouts such as radish, soybeans or wheat. Many kitchen herbs love window spots with lots of natural light. Most prefer a window facing west or east. Mediterranean herbs such as anise, basil, tarragon, cilantro, marjoram, oregano, rosemary or sage prefer a window facing south. Except for basil, which doesn't mind the heat of the heating system, herbs feel more comfortable in rooms with little or no heating. Make sure there is enough humidity and water the herbs only when the soil is slightly dry. Water should not be allowed to collect in the saucer.
There is little to do on the balcony or terrace in January. Nevertheless, do not forget to water evergreen potted plants sufficiently, of course, only on frost-free days. Especially if January should be drier than usual. In addition, check whether the winter protection is still properly in place and protects your plants from frost. If you can not wait until the first plants bloom, put the boxes with bulbs indoors. In the warmth, the bulbs will sprout earlier and soon the first flowers will bloom. However, do not put the plants out too early.
At the beginning of the year, not only classic Christmas plants such as amaryllis, Christmas rose or poinsettia are in season. Other perennial or winter-flowering houseplants also bring a lot of color into your home now. For example ...
Im Januar brauchen Ihre Zimmerpflanzen viel Licht und Luftfeuchtigkeit. Stellen Sie alle Pflanzen, auch Farne, in die Nähe von Fenstern, befeuchten Sie die Raumluft mit einem Luftbefeuchter oder Wasserschalen in der Nähe von Heizungen und besprühen Sie Ihre Zimmerpflanzen regelmässig. Ausserdem sollten Sie für die Pflanzen und das Raumklima regelmässig kurz, aber intensiv lüften. Schädlinge wie Spinnmilben oder Wollläuse lieben trockene Heizungsluft. Kontrollieren Sie darum Ihre Zimmerpflanzen und im Haus überwinternden Pflanzen oder Blumenzwiebeln auf Schädlinge und Krankheiten.
Houseplants do not need fertilizer during their winter dormancy. For perennial or winter-flowering plants, liquid fertilizer once a month is sufficient. Water houseplants only when the soil is dry. If you water them too often and the soil is constantly moist, mold can develop.
In January you have little to do outside. Use the time and prepare your balcony, garden or terrace for spring. For example, treat your wooden garden furniture with a glaze and sharpen or replace the blade of the lawn mower. Then you will have more time to enjoy outside in the spring.
If your lawn mower is getting on in years or you no longer want to mow it yourself, now is the time to consider a replacement. What you should pay attention to, read our article «Lawn Mower Purchase Guide: Important Criteria for the Right Lawn Mower Choice.».
Voles undermine trees, flower beds or shrubs in the garden and eat flower bulbs or plant roots. In January, their food supply is scarce. That's why you can easily trap them now with pieces of apple, carrot, potato or celery. Alternatively, you can drive away voles with a vole repeller that uses sound waves to trigger vibrations in the soil.
Birds cannot find enough food in the frozen or snow-covered ground. That is why you should feed them with a purchased or homemade feed mix of grains such as sunflower seeds, seeds such as beechnuts, oatmeal, raisins and fruit. It's best to feed in a bird feeder or bird feeder silo that protects the food from the weather. Special ground feeders are available for blackbirds or robins that prefer to feed near the ground. Also think about water that can not freeze, so that the birds can drink and bathe.