It’s January, and we find ourselves right in the middle of the summer season. It’s in this month and the next that we experience the hottest day-time and night-time temperatures of the year. With the weather so hot and dry at this time, and with hot north winds blowing, it’s important to keep up with the watering, especially for plants in containers.
The occasional heavy rains raise the humidity, and the warmth brings insects, so keep a lookout for any diseases or pests in the garden.
Cover peaches and nectarines with bird-netting to protect the fruit, and if you choose to thin out fruit on apples and pears now is the time to do it. Plum trees can bear very heavily and the brittle branches can break under the weight of the fruit, so it’s best to tie branches to supports or prop them up if they look too heavy.
Not forgetting the vegetables, it’s now time to harvest early potatoes, garlic, shallots and globe artichokes.
Sow some winter brassicas such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and swedes at this month, so they can be harvested in the winter season. To ensure that indeterminate (tall growing/staking variety) tomatoes ripen their fruit this late in the season, pinch out the growing tips to stop further green growth and remove any side-shoots, so the plant’s vigour is directed towards the fruit.
Things to Do This Month:
- Continue tying growing vines and brambleberries such as blackberries and their hybrids back to supports or wires.
- Prune summer fruiting raspberries – after fruit is picked, cut out old canes and tie new canes (that have grown this year) to supports.
- Propagation of semi-hardwood (semi-ripe) cuttings is done in mid-late summer, use rooting hormone, and plant in moist commercial propagation mix, or make your own with one part coarse propagating sand (washed river sand) and one part peat or coconut coir.
- Cut and dry herbs for winter use.
- Harvest seed from perennial plants
- Lest chance to sow vegetable seeds for harvesting in autumn.
- Keep an eye on water gardens and ponds, water levels can get low due to evaporation. Aquatic plants, including oxygenators, can become overgrown and require thinning at this time of year.
Vegetables and Herbs to Sow:
|Sow in January||Harvest (weeks)|
d = sow directly into ground
s = sow in seed tray
ds = sow directly into ground or seed tray
*= frost tender
**= sow after frost
Download printable PDF version of Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – January