January – Gardening Monthly to-do List

It is that time of year when you really need to start thinking about what you are going to do in your garden so that you can have the most abundant harvest.

Listed below are several tips that can really help you be prepared for the next growing season.



Seed catalogs will be arriving. Plan your garden space as you browse the catalogs to make sure you can fit everything you want to grow. Once you have decided what you want, then make your selections, and order seeds early, don’t wait to order your seeds as many varieties sell out quickly.

Now is the time to order tubers of Jerusalem artichoke if you plan on using them in your gardens.

Draw a map of your yard and garden.  Lay out how you want your garden to be planted.  Make copies one for use and one to keep for future reference.  Remember as you plan garden beds and raised beds stay in the same place year after year, but the crops rotate each year. This plan will help you rotate your crops next year. Keep in mind the more nots you keep and record will help you in future years. Keep each year’s plan in a three-ring binder for easy


Start Cool season plants in greehouses or near war southern facing windows.


Put down slow release fertilizer on the soil around the base of indoor plants that flower or fruit in the winter. Work into the top 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) of soil

Wait to prune spring-flowering shrubs until after they have flowered, don’t do it now.

Do not prune citrus trees! They are evergreen, and rely on an abundance of permanent branches to develop new fruit and shade the trunk from sun scald.

If a few, consecutive, warm days have caused your bulbs to nose out from under protective mulch, plan to thicken the mulch layer as soon as cold weather returns to prevent freezing by exposure.

Sterilize your tools, pots, and anything you use around your plants. Use one part household bleach to nine parts water. Soak for about 15 minutes, rise, and let dry.

Now is a good time to take advantage of off-season specials on garden tillers or attachments.

This is a good time to clean salty clay pots, soak them in vinegar to help remove salt deposits. Soaking in a dilute solution of bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) will kill micro-organisms. Never combine any household chemicals for cleaning purposes, so complete the cleaning in two steps. For heavily crusted pots, scrub with a steel wool pad after soaking for 12 hours.

If you have some time this winter, paint the handles of garden tools red or orange. This will preserve the wood and make the tools easier to locate next summer when you lay them down in the garden or on the lawn.

Try coating your snow shovel with a “no-stick” cooking spray; the snow slides right off. Recoat as needed.

Use calcium chloride instead of sodium chloride on your walks. It does less damage to plants. Or, better yet, use sand, which doesn’t hurt your plants a bit.

Weed and Pest Control

Control slugs, snails by removing their hiding places; clean up leaf litter anywhere in the yard.

Plow or till garden in the fall or winter to reduce populations of grasshoppers and harlequin bugs

Just a few pictures to get you excited about the upcoming growing season.


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