We've survived the holidays so it's time to start thinking about our gardens again.
Start planning your spring vegetable and flower gardens so you will know what seeds you need. Now is the time to order for the best selection.
Now that we've had freezing temperatures, especially at night, it would be a good time to apply some chopped leaves or shredded bark around your shrubs and over your flower beds. The mulch conserves moisture and keeps the soil from dramatic temperature changes.
Roses and fruit trees can be sprayed with dormant sprays which will kill overwintering insects and diseases. Horticultural oils smother insects and insect eggs. Lime-sulfur helps to lessen early diseases such as powdery mildew.
If you are growing cool weather greens such as kale, continue to harvest them. Gather the leaves from the bottom so the plants will continue to grow.
There are fragrant shrubs that will add a pleasant aroma to your yard on warm winter days. Winter daphne grows about 4 feet tall while wintersweet will grow up to 10 feet. Besides enjoying them outdoors, especially if planted near an entry, you can also cut some branches when they are in bloom to bring indoors.
You may have some spring flowering shrubs such as quince, forsythia and azalea, that have grown too big but don't prune them now. Wait until after they bloom to do any shearing or you will cut off the buds that are just waiting to pop open in a couple of months.
Most of all, take this rather slow time in the garden to relax and get ready for the busy months that will soon be here.