9 Gardening Tasks for the Month of January

January Gardening TasksIf you live in a part of the country anything like mine right now, you might be sitting inside watching a white blanket of snow cover everything in sight. Gardening can feel like it has to sit on the back burner in months like this one.

While a January in Austin, Texas is going to be much different than in Seattle, Washington, or Detroit Michigan, there are some great ways to keep your gardening spirit alive even in these low key months. Here are 9 of our favorite gardening tasks that any climate zone can accomplish in the month of January.

January Gardening Tasks

  1. Research
    While it might not feel like it with snow and cold temperatures surrounding you, before you know it, the sun will be warm and you will be getting your hands dirty in soil planting your spring garden. Taking this time in January to research will be so beneficial and of course fun to dream. This is the perfect time to pin tons of pictures on your Pinterest board of all the greenery that inspires you.

    In addition, taking the time to research the trees, scrubs, and plants that you want to include into your garden will help make sure that you are choosing the plants that are the best for your climate, condition, and size of your yard. This is a great time to gain some confidence as you try out new plants and vegetables too.

    When you give yourself some understanding of what kind of care and maintenance will be required will help as you make decisions on what is best for your spring garden. This will be a crucial step that you can do as you wait for your winter ground to thaw. When you prepare yourself with the information you need, you will be prepared to pull the trigger on buying the plants you want for your garden come springtime.

  2. Making The Plans
    Gaining ideas and inspiration is a great start to get the juices flowing and excitement as you dream of your garden starting to come alive. The next step will be to start creating an actual plan for your garden and yard. Getting your garden ready for spring takes effort and some thought. How much space will you have, what plants should be next to what, and how many plants do you want? These are all questions that you will need to answer.

    Having a plan also helps you prepare for starting your indoor garden 6-8 weeks before the first frost. For plant seeds like peppers, tomatoes, and slow growing veggies like onions, you will want to make sure you are planning ahead of time so you can start your seeds indoors. For some areas of the country, that is not too far away.

    When planning your spring garden, make a list of all the veggies, herbs, flowers, scrubs, and trees that you are hoping to include in your garden. Make a map of your yard and garden so you can gain an idea of how much space you have to work with. Making measurements of the area you have to work with can be helpful too. If you are using a square foot garden, this might be easier for you to plan as you can plan out the exact spacing. Having a plan will make the process of starting your spring garden a little smoother.

  3. Watch your Trees And Scrubs
    January is a great time to take care of your dormant trees and shrubs. In warmer zones, it is a great time to be alert for surprise frosts by covering them. You can use a few different options from tarps, blankets, and burlap. You can use a wooden frame or plant stakes.

    If you notice a lot of snow on your trees and scrubs, you can feel good about leaving it on them. The snow will act as an insulator for the trees. If you notice that the trees are being hurt or held down by the snow, you can go ahead and gently shake the snow off the plant.

  4. Protect Your Lawn
    When it comes to a nice green lawn you will want to protect it in the winter time by making sure you don’t walk or drive on frozen grass. If are noticing growing broadleaf weeds, you can apply post-emergence weed control.

  5. Watch Your Houseplants
    The best thing you can do to your house plant is to keep good eye on them. Make sure to keep them out of drafts in the home and make sure they are in the brightest spot possible to receive sunlight. Your plants may require you to water less often, but make sure to keep giving them the same amount. The water should be at room temperature. You can clean your plants by gently wiping or rinsing off their foliage. If you notice there is a really cold night approaching, you can help by closing the drapes and make sure the plants are not touching cold glass.

  6. Cleanup and Maintenance
    This is a great time to clean your garden tools by sharpening those that need it or giving them a good oil. You can have your soil tested to determine what the levels are like. You will be able to see if you will need to add supplements.

  7. Build Structures
    January is an excellent time to build whatever structures you are planning to use in the spring. That might include trellises, fences, walkways, and planters. I love hitting up the flea markets to find some treasures that I can construct into my garden.

  8. Order your Seeds and Plants
    After you have planned your garden, you will want to organize the seeds that you have from the previous year, throw out old seeds, and determine which seeds you still need purchase. While you can buy seeds from your local hardware store, if you are looking for more specific types of vegetables or plants, ordering online can be a great option.

  9. Continue to Build your Compost
    As you continue to add to your compost, don’t forget to add your cool ashes from your fireplace.

Wrapping Up

January takes the name from Janus – the Roman god of gateways and journeys. He is often pictured looking back and forward at the same time. With January being such a great month for resolutions and goals, it’s a great time to use this to apply this to your garden as you look back and look forward into the new year.

Taking time in your January to invest into your garden and yard will go a long way.  With some research, planning, watching, ordering, and some maintenance, you will be able to help create a stunning garden come spring.

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