Let’s Get Planning!
This December was a record-breaker – at least for me. This is the first time I have ever planted bulbs on Christmas Day! I hadn’t planned to plant bulbs on Christmas Day, but the temperature was in the 50’s, and the ground was soft, and I had some bulbs that I hadn’t gotten around to planting, so I figured, “why not?!” I do still have some left that I didn’t get a chance to get in – because I ran out of daylight – so if we get another warm spell, I may break another record, and get some planted in January – we will have to see what Mother Nature has in store for us (the weather people can’t seem to decide, so I’m just going to take it as it comes – not that I have much choice in the matter).
In this month’s issue of Let’s Get Gardening
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In this month’s issue:
When you’re a gardener, January is a time for dreaming and planning, and maybe a little doing, too:
- My first seed catalog arrived about two weeks ago, and I am betting that others will be showing up very soon. That makes January a great time to plan for the veggie garden. I like to try something new in my garden every year, so going through the catalogs is kind of like a treasure hunt for me. I haven’t decided what the new thing is going to be for 2020, but I’ve got a little bit of time, and there are lots of options out there! While going through the catalogs, I’m also thinking about what plants didn’t do so well in my garden last year, and deciding whether I want to try them again this year or swap them out for something else. Another thing to think about is whether there was anything that went to waste because I grew too much, or that I really wish I had grown more of because we just didn’t get enough.
- Part of the planning process also needs to take into consideration what issues the garden had with disease and pests, and deciding if there is anything that can be done to prevent or mitigate those issues this year – do you need to buy some row covers, or pesticide; is there a better fungicide out there, etc.?
- This is also a good time to go through garden tools and supplies to decide if you need to replace things this year. It’s much easier to have a list of things you need, so that you can be prepared when make those trips to your favorite garden shop.
- If you’re like me, the sudden cold snap we got in November caught you by surprise, and you didn’t get everything done that needed to be done in your garden at the time. And, if you’re like me, even though it was much warmer in December, you had way too much going on to get back to all your garden chores. The one thing I didn’t get done was putting mulch down on some of my flower beds.
- Make plans this month for your flower beds, just like you do with your vegetable garden. Deciding what new plants you want, as well as what old plants need to be divided or moved, can help you get to work right away in the spring.
Trees & Shrubs
- If you didn’t get burlap screens up around your evergreens, finish that task now, while you can still get stakes in the ground. In case we needed a reminder, the last couple of days’ high winds should serve to remind us that it gets pretty windy around here in the winter.
- When the snow really starts flying (you know it will at some point!), take a look at your trees – especially the evergreens – to see if the snow is weighing down branches. If so, it might be a good idea to try to clear the snow from them to prevent damage.
- Winter is a good time to give indoor plants some attention. Dust on leaves can keep the plants from getting sun – already in short supply at this time of year – so clean it off. Moving your plants closer to the windows can also help plants get more sun, but be sure that their leaves are not touching the cold glass, and that plants aren’t in drafty areas.
- Make sure your indoor plants are getting enough humidity at this time, too. If you don’t have a whole-house humidifier, and it’s not possible to have a room humidifier in every room where you have plants, there are still ways to increase the humidity around them. One way is to put the plant on a tray of pebbles that is kept filled with water.
- Keep your feeders filled during the winter to provide the birds a reliable source of food, and provide you lots of entertainment, as you watch them come and go.
- Putting a heated birdbath out will provide birds with a much-needed source of water, when most water is frozen. It’s also lots of fun watching their antics in the water!
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