January Garden Tips

  • One of the best gardening months of the entire year is January. This is an ideal month to plant fruit, flowering and shade trees, dormant spray, prune and eliminate weeds. This is also a great time to sharpen and repair mowers, trimmers, shredders, chain saws and other garden implements.

What To Look For

  • Your garden encompasses more than just what grows in the ground. It also includes the surrounding area. The habitat for wildlife, and other living things. Since natural food sources are scarce at this time of year, now is the time to feed the birds in your landscape. Use suet cakes along with birdseed to provide protein and fat for the birds. Water is also important for birds, so if you have a birdbath in your garden, be sure to use a de-icer to prevent the water from freezing when temperatures fall below 32 degrees.

Healthy Tips

  • EQUIPMENT REPAIR - Does your mower need sharpening; does the oil need changing; what about the filters; is the engine running properly? If you need to have any parts of your power garden implements repaired, this is the time to do it. I took a mower in for repair a couple of weeks ago, and it was finished in two days. I can tell you from personal experience if you wait until mid-February or later it will probably be two or three weeks, to get this same type of work done.
  • SOIL - Now is a great time to apply cow manure and other organic soil conditioners to your garden. Apply 2" deep in vegetable gardens and let the nutrients soak into the soil.
  • CHECK THE PUMPS -  If you have a water feature, be sure to check the pumps to make sure they are working properly. Larger pumps that move a lot of water typically will keep running throughout the winter without any problem, however, smaller pumps, will most likely freeze and should be turned off for the winter.
  • LIME THE LAWN - January and February are ideal months to lime the lawn if you have not done so in recent years. Lawns prefer a ph range of 6.2 - 6.8, which typically requires liming in our area. If needed, apply 50 lb. of lime per 1,000 square feet of lawn area. This will raise the ph 1/2 point. If you need to apply more lime, wait six weeks between applications.
  • SLUG CONTROL – Have you seen any slugs lately? I have, and this is a good time to eliminate them too, Every slug left to roam the garden will reproduce two hundred off-springs this spring, summer and fall. In addition, the offspring will also reproduce young. So you can make a major reduction in the slug population in your garden by eliminating them now.
  • BULBS - Did you forget to plant your bulbs? Although it’s getting late, if you haven’t planted your Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths or Crocus, take time and get them into the soil right away.
  • HOUSEPLANTS -  the leaves of your houseplants for insect problems like scale, mites and mealy bugs. If you detect a problem, take a sample to a reputable garden center and one of their plant specialists will diagnose the problem and recommend the appropriate control.

Pat Mulford • patmulford013@gmail.com