JANUARY GARDENING ACTIVITIES
ive your balled-and-burlapped Christmas tree a permanent home in your landscape. If you're not ready or able to plant a tree now, move it outside to a sheltered location and supply water as needed.
If you haven't already, mulch your landscape beds for winter. Mulching prevents erosion, protects against soil freezes and thaws, and helps retain moisture - all particularly beneficial over a dry winter. There are many different types of mulch. You can even recycle your cut Christmas tree and use the branches to cover perennials!
Be sure to shake or brush off heavy snow from the branches of your evergreens and shrubs. Light fluffy snow poses no real threat, but if it should become wet and frozen, the weight dramatically increases. Branches are more brittle when the plants are dormant, and the weight of the snow may snap them off.
A GOOD GARDEN STARTS WITH GOOD PLANNING
Begin planning your garden now. Buy an extra wall calendar and dedicate it to tilling and planting activities. Look ahead and record the last projected frost dates for your region and mark down when to plant seedlings indoor. Check out this useful website www. usna.usda.gov/Hardzone to determine local hardiness.
Pick up a few gardening books and magazines that are available, clipping out pictures that appeal to you. Sketch out the designs you would like to incorporate into your own garden.
Collect nursery and seed catalogs now and remember to place any orders early. Before you order, check out return policies, guarantees, and shipping charges.
Get together with some of your ‘gardening friends’ and combine orders to save on shipping costs.
Time your early gardening and lawn activities with anticipated sales at local merchants. They are sometimes a great deal and have their products available immediately and at no extra cost (i.e. shipping).
SPOIL THOSE HOUSEPLANTS!
And now is the time to spoil those indoor plants! They not only brighten up the house but they also rid indoor air of nasty pollutants.
Extra watering is required to keep them from drying out indoors. They also need to be rotated periodically to ensure they receive adequate sunlight all around during the winter months.
Dust on the foliage can clog the leaf pores, so periodically wipe them with a damp cloth or a quick shower under the kitchen sprayer.
Always use room temperature water when watering or misting your house plants!
On cold nights, it is always a good idea to close the curtains or blinds between the window and your house plants. NEVER place your house plants between the curtain and the window!
Make sure that your plants have sufficient humidity, by setting them on a tray filled with moistened, clean pebbles, or by simply setting a cup of water nearby.
REMEMBER TO FEED THE BIRDS!
Don't forget that our feathered friends will need a reliable supply of water and food during winter. Once you start feeding them, they'll keep returning for more, so be prepared to continue providing ample amounts of both until natural water supplies and food becomes available later in the Spring.