January To Do - Outdoors

Despite of some misconceptions, there is actually plenty to do in a garden, in January.

Some things may seem obvious; broken equipment in need of repair, missing tools that must be replaced, -the list could probably go on, and on. On the other hand, there is another category of garden "to dos" that becomes apparent only during one's daily, on-site inspections.
Whether it's stormy, snowy, or wet; -no matter where you live, see your plants often.
 Keep in shape, and take frequent walks. It will be good for you and for your garden. Observe your plants grow and see if there are any early signs of trouble that need addressing. See Town & Country Gardens' January TO DO below.
January To Do...
* Clean, repair (or replace) garden tools & equipment.
* Tidy your greenhouse.
* Prune (2) Muscadine (and other) vines, fruit trees (apple, pear, plum, avocado), fruit shrubs (blueberry, currant, gooseberry), and Summer flowering ones, e.g. roses.
* Test and condition the soil
* If diseased, spray or prune your plants .
* Mulch garden to stop frost bites.
* Minimize plant damage , shake off heavy snow.
* Plant (1) bare-root trees, shrubs and vines.
* Prune (2) Japanese maples, ornamental grasses, evergreens (3).
* Use wood ashes to condition your garden soil (4)
Plant these in NC
(1) this of course can be done, as soon as you can work the soil.
(2) Concentrate on removing growth that is dead, dying or diseased, before doing aesthetics.
(3) Pruning evergreens is not really necessary, unless one wishes to achieve a better, more compact shape.
(4) Moderate use of wood ashes will condition the soil with potassium, phosphorus and other nutrients. It will also neutralize acidic soils, which is great for some plants. Woodland plants, such as rhododendron, blueberry, juniper, mountain laurel, heather, azalea, holly, etc., do actually like acidic soil, so please avoid putting wood ashes next to these plants.

Caution
Ashes from any treated wood are not suitable, because they may contaminate soil and plants with heavy metals and other harmful components. Use untreated wood ashes, only.

Go back to JANUARY TO DO page

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References
Special Thanks
Special Thanks to Town & Country Gardens Contributors:
blogger, bulabean, dive-angel (Karin), flickr, hearts812, Jasmine&Roses, Nelly, Rita Crane Photography, Rita Crane, daughter of LIFE magazine photographer Ralph Crane.
Her work can be seen on Flickr at Rita Crane Photography or on her website., TMR Davies, W.D. Williams

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