National Gardening To-Do List, January 2013
January is planning month for the garden. In much of the country outside the South, the ground is too frozen or soggy to accomplish much outside, so sitting down with garden and landscape design books, the computer and other resources to dream and plan for the gardening season is on the to-do list. Where the weather is good enough to go outside, trees and shrubs can still be planted and outdoor hard scape can be installed.
1. As you are planning your garden and landscape design, keep drainage in mind. Few plants thrive with wet feet, so in low areas plan for raised beds. Add compost to your garden areas now so it can decompose before planting time.
2. Make sure as you plan for trees and other large plants in the landscape that you leave enough space for the plant to grow to its eventual size. That river birch really will get to be the 70 feet tall and 40 feet wide noted on the planting tag. Plants placed too close together will suffer from mildew and other diseases.
3. Order seeds and seed-starting supplies for sprouting indoors. Consult last year’s gardening journal or your memory and think about what worked and what didn’t. Build on success and learn from failure.
4. While you are thinking about last year, recall which plants you planned to move and move them if the weather cooperates. Did that little evergreen you planted on the north side of the house droop from lack of sun? Did the azaleas you put on the south side bake? Switch them.
5. Plan for and buy plants that are appropriate for the space you have to put them in. Consider sun/shade, hillside/flat, wet/dry, soil and physical space before you commit to anything.
6. Check on the bulbs and vegetables you stored from your fall garden. Discard or use immediately anything that shows signs of decay.
7. Feed the birds and keep fresh unfrozen water available for them. Put your discarded Christmas tree out in the yard hung with suet feeders or seed balls.
8. Take a gardening class or do some serious research about a garden project you hope to do this spring or summer. Your county extension service will have homeowner classes on a number of topics throughout the year.
USDA 2012 Planting Zone Map
Hidden Valley Lake CA - Zone 9a