January in the Garden

January is a nice rest period for the garden, and for we gardeners as well. Your garden is settled in for the winter, but your green thumb may be itching to do something outside in the yard or garden. Satisfy your need for some fresh wintry air by following a few of these garden tips when the mood strikes.

  • Snow fall has been plentiful so far, but water trees and shrubs and any newly planted perennials after a month or so when the next dry spell hits, preferably on a day when temperatures are above freezing.  Winter Watering Info
  • Plants are well-insulated under a good layer of snow. If necessary, brush excessive snow from small shrubs on the north side if the weight threatens to damage or break branches.
  • Take a walk through your garden and look at your flower beds. Replace mulch that has blown or washed away.
  • Spread holiday greenery over perennials to provide a little extra insulation.  It may also provide warmth and shelter for birds.
  • January is a tough time of year for birds. A steady supply of seed, suet or nectar will help them survive until spring.  Birds in the Garden Info
  • Build a compost bin.  Locate your new composting system in a mostly sunny site, and you’ll be up to your elbows in ‘black gold’ before you know it.  Compost Bin Info
  • Winter is an excellent time to have a troublesome or dangerous tree removed from your property. With no foliage to cloud their work, many arborists will cut down trees that have to go at this time of year.
  • Year-round veggie gardeners need to keep an eye on their season extenders, removing snow from cold frames and mini hoop tunnels after a storm. Use a sturdy broom or plastic shovel to remove snow.  Cold Frame Info
  • Planning a new garden bed for next summer in an area where grass or weeds are currently growing? Make it easy on yourself by starting the project right now. First, place a thick layer of newspaper or cardboard over the area, then pile on alternating layers of organic material like compost, leaves, pine needles, untreated grass clippings, and straw. In the spring, the grass and weeds underneath the pile will be dead, and your new garden bed will be ready to plant!  New Garden Bed Info
  • Curl up with a cup of hot cocoa and browse through your favorite seed catalogs or peruse their websites.
  • Start a garden journal and fill it any way you like. Some ideas to get you started: weather, garden plans, observations, memories, thoughts and observations.
  • Join a garden club in your area. Take a class or consider becoming a Master Gardener.
  • Indoor plants are still in a slow growth stage and a few are completely dormant. As a rule, most indoor plants should be allowed to dry completely between watering.