Here in Ohio, snow is blanketing the ground and bitter temperatures hurt your skin. January is a great month to stay in dreaming and planning of garden additions and changes to be made. Below is a list of garden related chores for the month of January.
- Wash Houseplants
Wash the dust off houseplant leaves. In addition to plants better gathering more light, this is also beneficial in removing any pest populations inhabiting the leaves. I use warm water, no soap. If using soap, Ivory is best, mixed at a solution of one teaspoon to a quart of water
- Take special care when watering houseplants
When watering houseplants, allow tap water to sit overnight. This removes chlorine and fluorine gasses, which some plants are sensitive to. Allowing the water to sit for an extended period of time also brings it to room temperature, which is less of a shock to plants when watering. If there is no time to allow it to sit, use warm water to reduce shock.
- Check on any overwintering plants
Check on overwintering plants and containers such as cannas, dahlias, etc to be sure they are not rotting or drying out. Remove any rotting bulbs to prevent further spread. Give a minimal drink of water if dry.
- Review notes and records from the 2013 growing season.
Now is the time to list garden resolutions and changes for the upcoming year. Prepare lists of seed and plant purchases to be made. If you didn’t keep records, make a decision to do so this year.
- Don’t forget the birds!
Keep feeders filled. Suet cakes are loved by the woodpeckers. Strings of peanuts are a favorite also. Recycle your live Christmas tree outdoors for bird shelter and add treats for additional winter assistance. A heated bird bath or fresh water source is also an important addition to the winter garden in efforts to aid the birds.
- Have leftover seeds? Try a quick germination test. Roll 10 seeds in a damp paper towel. Keep moist and warm. Check for germination in a week. If fewer than half sprout, order new seed.
- Another option for live tree recycling; boughs can be cut and used as mulch for perennials
- Get pruning tools oiled and sharpened if you haven’t done so already. Dormant pruning can be done in the latter months of dormancy to remove storm or insect/disease damage, remove crossing branches and/or improve overall structure on woody trees and shrubs.