January Garden Chores

January Garden Holidays
National Mail Order Gardening Month
January 4: Free Flower Basket Day
January 6: Apple Tree Day
January 10: Houseplant Appreciation Day
January 28: Daisy Day
January 29: National Carnation Day
January 30: National Seed Swap Day


Things You Should Do In January

As winter continues, gardeners simply cannot wait for spring to come. It may be the gardening off-season but you can make the most of this time to plan your garden, order seeds and supplies, start seeds indoors and prepare your garden tools. Here are some general garden chores to consider for the month of January.

Decide What You'll Do This Year
This downtime is the best time to work on your garden plan. Start by reviewing last year’s garden journal and decide what you want to do differently this year. Are you going to try a new gardening method? Are you growing more veggies, fruits or herbs? Which plants are companions and will be planted next to each other? Addressing these questions and more is the first step to a successful garden plan.

Map Out Your Spring Garden
Draw a map of your garden so you can easily visualize where each plant and other garden elements will go. Browse online for garden inspiration and look through magazines for ideas to incorporate into your garden. Compare seed catalogs as well to help you pick the most ideal varieties to grow in the new season.

Shop for Seeds & Supplies
With your garden layout finalized, you can now come up with a list of seeds and supplies to buy. It’s good to get your orders in while it’s still early so you’ll have plenty of time to prepare for spring planting. If you’ve saved seeds from last year’s garden, look into sharing or trading seeds with other gardeners as well.

Start Some Seeds Indoors
Depending on your growing zone, you can begin starting certain vegetable seeds indoors as early as now. These are usually slow-growing, cold-season types such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, leeks and onions. Don’t forget to check the seed starting info for each plant to get optimum results.

Protect Your Plants
Your outdoor plants will need protection from the harsh weather. Monitor them regularly: check the plant roots and apply mulch if you find signs of frost heaves, and add more stakes to plants affected by strong winds.

Prune Trees & Shrubs
The dormant season is ideal for pruning certain trees and shrubs. A good rule-of-thumb is to prune trees and shrubs that bloom on new growth during winter and early spring—if you have these, then go ahead and remove dead or diseased branches and prune your plants into the shape you want.

Look After the Small Creatures
Help our feathered friends and other small creatures get food this winter by setting up a feeder with access to fresh water. You will find it rewarding to see them enjoy the food and water you’ve provided.

Prepare Your Gardening Tools
If you have some time left this month, you might as well begin sharpening your various gardening tools and tune up your mowers and other power tools for the upcoming season.