January in the Garden

New Zealand tea tree

Since most flowering plants are in their dormant stage in January, this is a good time to visit your local nursery or garden center to pick up azaleas, camellias and New Zealand tea trees (Leptospermum scoparium) to plant in your garden. Just keep in mind that with high moisture levels in the ground, overworking the soil can result in compaction that may harm root structures.

Color: Fill in bare spots with cool-weather annuals. Pansies, snapdragons, Iceland poppies and kale are great additions to the garden, along with cyclamen, primula and begonias. Keep fallen leaves cleaned from the base of plants. Plant summer blooming bulbs such as canna, dahlia, lilies, tuberose and tuberous begonias.

Fruits & Vegetables: Plant bare-root fruit trees, grapes, berries and strawberries. Soak roots in water overnight before planting. Continue to spray dormant fruit trees, including the trunk and soil around the base of the tree, for pests. Prune established fruit trees to maintain a uniform shape. Many cool-weather vegetables are available. Sow beet, carrot and radish seeds.

Lawn: Mow cool-weather lawns weekly. Applying a pre-emergent weed killer now will save you time and money later in the year. Give your lawnmower a tune up. Change the oil and sharpen the blade. 

Roses & Flowers: Clean leaf litter from around the base of plants to discourage snails and slugs. Bait as necessary. Prune roses before new growth begins. Water them thoroughly before pruning. Other flowering shrubs should be pruned after the first bloom cycle.

Irrigation: Test-run your irrigation system to ensure that all lines are clear and emitters are working efficiently. If it rains, turn the system off to save water. 

Alissa Adams-Simmons
Briggs Tree Nursery & Tree Company

Categories: Gardening