Overall, January is a light month for gardening. If you have not started planning for spring, this is a great time to do so. Add compost to the garden soil and get any empty beds ready for the next planting season. It is also a good month for harvesting citrus and other fruits of your labor; for instance, that winter vegetable garden you’ve been tending. Here is a short list to keep everything in your landscape healthy and happy.
- Most plants should not be pruned back until spring even if they have some frost damage.
- You can prune out dead branches from plants that are dormant in winter.
- Flowering trees and evergreen shrubs may be trimmed, but trim no branches larger around than a pencil.
- Fruit trees may be trimmed in late winter before they bud out.
- Roses can be pruned this month. As a general rule, cut growth back by about one third.
- Continue to deadhead any flowering plants to encourage new blooms.
- Continue to water deeply and infrequently adjusting for any rainfall.
- Most of the landscape plants and trees need only a single watering in January if there has been no rain.
- Winter dormant plants such as euphorbias need no additional water at this time.
- Fertilize winter vegetable gardens according to individual plant needs.
- Landscape plants need not be fertilized again until spring.
- Warm season plants in containers should not need fertilizer this month.
- Cool season plants in containers may be fertilized.
- Fertilize rye grass with a high-phosphate fertilizer such as ammonium phosphate or triple phosphate. You can also use an all-purpose fertilizer that has a minimum of 20% phosphorous.
- Watch for frost warnings and be sure to cover any tender plants when necessary.
- Watch for aphids and cabbage loopers and treat each according to instructions in the links below.
- January is the perfect time to plant bare root roses and grapes.
- Blackberries can be planted this month; be sure to put them where they will receive some afternoon shade.
- Some vegetables and herbs that may be sown from seed in January include: Arugula, basil, beets, carrots, chard, cilantro, collards, dill, eggplant, fennel, kale, leeks, lettuces, mustard greens, scallions, parsley, peas, peppers, radish, spinach, tomatillos, tomato and turnip.
- Vegetables and herbs to be started from transplant in January include: Artichoke (Globe), asparagus, bok choi, cabbage, mints, onions, oregano and thyme.
- Plant tulips, daffodils and ranunculus early in the month.
Add mulch to any bare soil in the garden and don’t forget the compost tumblers and piles during the winter months. Compost can be kept working and should be turned a minimum of once a month. The decomposition process will slow down in cooler weather but keep adding to the pile as usual. If you want to speed up the process and combat winter temperatures, cut up your scraps to two inches or smaller before adding them to the pile. This will allow them to break down sooner and come spring you should have some nice, yummy compost for your garden!
Aphids in the Low Desert
Cabbage Looper in the Low Desert
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