Here we are in the New Year. With all the stress and fear going on economically, why not start the New Year by enjoying your garden this month for fun and exercise. Be nice to yourself and don’t push too hard. The garden is resting and you can take your time too! If you DO want to get out there to enjoy some puttering, here are some timely jobs to do.
- January is a great time to prune and plant hardwood trees and shrubs in areas where the soil doesn’t freeze hard.
- Check out garden centers for the best choices of bare root trees and shrubs at the best prices and selections you’ll find all year.
- In mild winter climates or if you have a home greenhouse, plant seeds or 6-packs of lettuce, peas, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and beets. These can all take some frost.
- Have fun poring through catalogs and ordering the seeds, bulbs and plants for the spring. Also check out the new garden book releases. There are new books coming out in print and in downloadable format all the time.
- Keep leaves raked up and compost them to create your own soil mulch and amendments.
- Let your lawns rest for the winter. If you are growing a winter lawn, water it minimally.
- Keep drains and gutters cleaned out for free passage of rain water and to avoid flooding in rain or snow melt.
- Start sketching and planning springtime landscape changes and new plantings. It’s also a good time to do more formal plans for larger projects.
- You can also start outdoor prep for building projects whenever the soil is not too wet.
- Take some time off to wander through your garden and look at the winter scenery or watch the wildlife. It will recharge your batteries!
- Do something Eco-friendly like install a rain barrel (I just put in 3), add some permeable paving or replace some of your lawn with something less boring like a sport area, edible garden or a showy native plant garden. Inclement weather is ideal for research and planning while nice days offer an opportunity to prep areas or do building.
Start the New Year out with plans to garden right through the winter. You can make a difference whether you work on it indoors or out.