With January, comes the new year, new weather and new things to do in your garden.
1. In the first week of January, wrap recently planted evergreens with burlap to avoid wind and snow damage. Also, don’t forget to rotate houseplants and keep away from heat sources!
2. Once you take down your Christmas tree, don’t throw it all away! Trim branches and use as mulch over your precious garden beds! But don’t forget, avoid walking on frozen turf outside or you will shatter grass blades causing noticeable damage in the spring.
3. Once the temperature is above 40 degrees, spray your broad leaf evergreens with an anti-desiccant to protect from the harsh winter damage.
4. By the fourth week of January you should start parsley, onions, and leeks indoors in a dark location. Once they begin to sprout, move them into a bright spot! Also begin to prune dormant fruit trees but make sure to complete the task before the end of March.
5. In the last week of January, there is a bit of maintenance that should be done. Firstly, you should cut branches of forsythia, dogwood, honeysuckle, lilac, quince, and redbud, and place them in vases to force early blooming indoors. Secondly, you should begin the slow grow of annuals like ageratum, nicotiana, snapdragons, and verbena indoors. Thirdly, African violets and other flowering houseplants should be deadheaded. And last but not least, hold a steaming pot of water over frozen ponds to melt an opening in the surface that will release trapped gases that can poison fish (also those fish need to get some air too!)
Just a tip, avoid using salt to melt snow, its toxic to most plants. Instead you should try using sawdust, sand, cat litter, or even good old fashioned elbow grease!