Your local independent, family run, Dartmouth garden centre, café and farm shop

January in the garden

Deciduous hedges like Beech and Hawthorn are dormant now so it’s a great time to get them back into shape if they’ve grown a little too enthusiastically last year. Do one side at a time, leaving the other till next year to avoid cutting back too hard. Shape the sides like an A so they they narrow at the top and the sun can get right to the base of the hedge; then cut back the top to about 15cm lower than you want it to be, to leave room for this year’s growth  

Flowers: Sow summer bedding plants in a heated propagator Pick off any leaves affected by downy mildew from Violas and Pansies Plant roses for a thrilling summer display of colour and scent
Fruit & veg: Prune gooseberries, redcurrants and whitecurrants Prune grapevines while they’re still dormant to avoid ‘bleeding’ Start chitting new potato tubers – arriving instore this week!
Greenhouse:Keep indoor Cyclamen cool and well lit, and don’t overwater Prune back overwintered Fuchsias by about half and start watering Check heaters to make sure they’re still working properly
Around the garden: Take time to plan changes you want to make to your garden this year Lift terracotta pots onto pot feet to protect from frost Scoop fallen leaves out of ponds  

Feeding the hungry birds
When the weather is cold, and food is scarce, our garden birds need our help to get them through the winter. Whether it’s putting up a bird feeder or planting bird-friendly bushes in your garden, there’s lots you can do to give your garden birds some support through the coldest months of the year.   
Bird-friendly plants Berry-bearing plants are the most natural food source for birds in winter. Rowan, hawthorn, holly, cotoneaster and pyracantha are all excellent choices for a bird-friendly garden. Mature ivy is also a beneficial plant – the energy-rich berries provide food for birds, and the evergreen leaves give good shelter.  The seedheads of flowering perennials like teasels, echinacea and rudbeckia all provide food for birds in autumn, so consider planting some of these in your garden to encourage next year’s foraging birds. Goldfinches also feast on dandelion seeds, which is a great reason to leave a few of these wildlife-friendly plants to flourish in the corner of your garden.   
Tips on feeding birds If you are putting out food for birds in winter, follow these tips: Soak dried mealworms in warm water for an hour before putting them out to give birds some much-needed hydration. Mealworms are a favourite with robins, blackbirds and blue tits. Clean bird feeders regularly in hot soapy water to avoid transmitting diseases that can devastatingly affect bird populations. Place feeders in the open so that birds can see predators like cats approaching. If possible, position the feeders somewhere near shrubs or trees to give birds an escape route. Keep bird baths topped up with fresh, clean water. As well as drinking, birds need to keep their feathers clean in winter so that they retain their insulating qualities. Look out for great offers in store!

We have everything you need to support your garden birds, from bird feeders, foods and baths to bird-friendly plants.  Plus great offers on feeding stations, suet balls and big bags of seed.

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