Gardening Jobs in January

Dahlias

Inspection of tubers

Examine stored tubers every few weeks during the winter and, if they are shrivelling, plunge them in a bucket of tepid water for a night (under cover if it is a cold night) to plump them up again. Dry the tubers thoroughly and replace in their boxes.
If stored tubers are showing any signs of rotting, such as dampness on the stems, cut away any portions of the tubers that are damaged and treat the cuts with a sulphur dust. Ensure the labels remain tightly attached to the tubers.

Ground preparation

Dahlias prefer a position in full sun and do not grow as well if they are planted in a mixed border of herbaceous plants as they do in a bed on their own. If you want to grow top-quality blooms, whether for cutting, for exhibitions, or for colour in the garden, try to find a place for them where they will not have to compete with other plants.

Start to dig the dahlia bed as early in the year as possible to permit frost to act on the soil. Dahlias will thrive in any soil that is neither too acid nor too alkaline, but they are gross feeders and require considerable amounts of moisture during the year. To help provide this, incorporate as much compostor or well-rotted manure as possible.