January in the garden with Twigland

The Edible Garden

  • Regular harvesting of quick producing crops is the key to this month - courgettes, cucumbers, gherkins, beans, peas all need checking and picking on a daily basis. This will keep your veges young and sweet and stop them getting too big! It will also encourage plants to keep on producing for many more weeks.
  • Control white butterfly caterpillars with Derris Dust.
  • Plant successional crops of quick growing summer veges such as lettuce, beetroot, radishes, silver beet, bok choy. Now is also a good time to plant seedlings of the first of the autumn/winter veges - cabbage, cauliflower, leeks, spinach.
  • Keep on feeding the summer garden. Liquid feed around tomatoes and peppers with liquid tomato food or Yates 'Flower and Fruit' soluble plant food. Give leafy veges like lettuce, silverbeet, a side dressing of 'Sulphate of Ammonia' to kick them along.
  • Continue to water regularly, especially if the summer is dry. Remember a good deep watering around the roots of the plants 2-3 times per week is more beneficial than a daily light sprinkling.
  • Adding compost and other organic material to the soil helps retain moisture as well as conditioning the soil.
  • Check fruit trees for brown rot and blackspot and spray with ‘Fungus Fighter’ if these are prevalent.
  • Tomatoes will be ripening now. Thin out foliage around lower parts of the plants to allow light in and air around the fruit. This will speed up ripening and help keep diseases at bay.
  • Garlic and onions can be lifted now and laid out to dry.
  • Harvest new potatoes as flowering finishes.
  • Collect herbs for drying or making pesto and freezing.

Basil Pesto

  • Into the food processor put;
    • 2 packed cups of basil leaves
    • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
    • ¾ cup olive oil
    • ¼ cup fresh parmesan
    • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
    • Salt and Pepper
  • Blend all together – freeze in ice cube trays, then pack free flow in bags in freezer to use as required.

The Flower Garden

  • Fill gaps in the garden with instant potted colour - Zinnias, Dahlias, Marigolds, Salvias, and Petunias will all flower on for some time yet.
  • Zinnias are great for providing summer colour. They also attract butterflies, bees, and birds to your garden.
  • Plant Gazanias and Arctotis in drier, sunny spots of the garden for masses of bright colour during the hotter months.
  • Keep dead heading flowering plants including roses - this will encourage more flowers to develop.
  • When picking roses, cut a reasonably long stem, making your cut just above an outward facing bud.
  • Feed roses now with Rose food - this will encourage more flowers and growth to harden  before the first frosts.
  • It is now time to plant the first of the spring flowering bulbs - Anemone and Ranunculus.
  • In warmer climes Hibiscus will be in full show. These respond well to plants food high in potash, such as citrus fertiliser. Remember to water well after feeding;