Seasonal Calendar – January
FIRST WEEK: • Prepare beds for bare-root roses that will soon arrive in nurseries. Dig an area four feet wide and twelve inches deep for each plant, adding plenty of soil conditioner to the soil. see Rose Buying and Planting
• Water poinsettias only as needed – when the top inch of the soil becomes dry to the touch. Keep them in bright light but cool temperatures. Do not fertilize until March. see Poinsettia Care After Winter
• Now is a great time to drain and replace the oil in your mower and to have the blade sharpened or to replace it completely. see How to Maintain Your Mower
• It is easy to see the limb structure of trees now. Tie ribbon around the ones you think should be removed then step back for another look before cutting them off. see Tree Pruning
• If the ground is dry, till the soil in your vegetable garden. You’ll eliminate lots of insects, weeds and nematodes.
SECOND WEEK: • Small, leafless shrubs and trees can be transplanted easily now. Wait for a warm day when the ground is not frozen. see Shrub Transplanting 1-2-3
• Chop unwanted kudzu, English ivy and bamboo to the ground. Follow with weedkiller on the leaves in April. see Bamboo Control
• Prune clumps of pampas grass down to 12 inches tall. Use a gloved hand to pull out dead stems in the clump. see Pampas Grass Care
• Water pansies and ornamental kale after a hard freeze so they can re-hydrate their wilted leaves. Remember to regularly water window boxes and other outside plant containers.
• Give houseplants a half turn every month so they don’t lean too much in one direction.
THIRD WEEK: • Check indoor plants for insects like spider mites, scale, and mealybugs. Remember to spray insecticidal soap or indoor houseplant insecticide on the undersides of leaves to get good pest control. see Spider Mites on Indoor Citrus
• Amaryllis flower stems and their faded blooms can be removed now. Treat it like a houseplant for the rest of the winter then plant outdoors in a sunny bed in May. see Amaryllis Outdoors
• Use calcium chloride or potassium chloride instead of salt on icy sidewalks. Too much rock salt (sodium chloride) can burn nearby plant roots.
• If temperatures drop below 20 degrees after a week-long warm spell, cover gardenias and camellias nightly with black plastic anchored to the ground on all sides. see Shrubs – Protection in Winter
• Write or call for your yearly supply of garden plant and seed catalogs. Buy an issue of a gardening magazine for addresses and phone numbers. see Recommended Gardening Magazines
FOURTH WEEK: • Plant pansies and English daisies in a sunny bed when the weather is mild. Use plants in three inch or larger pots to make an immediate impact in your landscape.
• Look out for poison ivy when working outdoors. Even the leafless vine and branches can cause a powerful skin reaction if touched.
• Watch for brown edges on houseplant foliage. Mist the leaves twice each day and move them from drafty areas. see Brown Houseplant Leaves
• Check on the tender bulbs (canna, caladium, dahlia) you stored indoors for the winter. If they are beginning to shrink, mist each one with warm water. see Storing Elephant Ear