The month of January certainly isn’t the warmest one with its icy frosts and snowfalls. On the other hand, January is a good time to start thinking about your spring gardening plans. Before you know it, the ground will thaw, the sun will shine, and your plants will be getting ready to bloom.
1. Take notes
Whether you’re a master gardener or a beginner, it’s important to take note of your gardening needs. A notebook allows you to keep track of specifics, such as plant and seed purchases, equipment needs, and equipment maintenance. Now is the time to visualize what you’d like your outdoor landscape and garden to look like. Review different gardening catalogues, speak to fellow gardeners, or potentially join a garden club to learn more about what kinds of shrubs, trees, plants, and flowers you’ll be taking care of. It is recommended to draw a map of your garden to space out your planting territory.
2. Indoor prep
Due to the cold weather and frozen ground, not much outdoor gardening can be done during January. You may still inspect plants for diseases and check the frost on perennials. However, be sure to keep the birds happy by regularly filling your bird feeder. When spring comes around, you’ll want to make sure you have a steady gathering of different bird species in the area. They’re some of the best pest-control solutions available!
As for indoor prep, consider the following tips to keep plants alive and well until springtime:
- Maintain a temperature of 60 to 70 degrees indoors
- Provide a humid environment by purchasing a humidifier, or planting potted plants with pebbles or marbles to trap air and water inside
- Provide plenty of sunlight by keeping plants near sunny windows. You can also purchase a UV ray sunlamp if you feel there is not enough sunlight.
- Water plants as prescribed with room temperature water
- Move plants away from windows and curtains to avoid draft
- Inspect for insects, mold, dust, and diseases
Plants and flowers such as Lily of the Valley, Hyacinth, Cyclamen, Streptocarpus, Jasmine, Begonia, and Amaryllis all do well blooming indoors during winter prep. You may want to consider indoor herbs as well, such as thyme, parsley, rosemary, and sage. With adequate lighting, warm enough temperatures, and enough water, plants and bulbs can thrive during the winter months indoors.
As you prep for the spring months, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper gardening equipment, and that any equipment you do have still works. Hand tools such as pruning shears, grass clippers, and soil knives should be cleaned, sharpened, and oiled. This must be done carefully using a bevel or scissor sharpener with a steady hand or vice grip. Always use gloves.
Depending on your gardening needs, equipment such as mowers, weed whackers, wheelbarrows, rakes, hoes, and spades are useful and common tools. Power tools may need an oil, spark plug, or air filter replacement. Checking in with a local specialist can save time and hassle while providing safety when maintaining your equipment.