January Gardening Tips

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Plants in Flower

Witch Hazel,

witch hazel blooms covered in snow

Winter interest- Witch Hazel

Daphne odora, Hellabores, Hollies, Pyracantha, Washington Hawthorne

• Use wood ashes on your vegetable garden, bulb beds and non-acid loving plants if the pH of the soil is below 6.0.


• Plant asparagus crowns this month when soil is dry enough to work.
• Order seeds for early planting.
• make plans for changes or improvements in your garden or lawn.


• Prune grape vines.
• Prune dead, broken and undesired limbs on your shade trees and shrubs.
• Do NOT prune Maple, Birch, Elm, Dogwood or other trees that are “bleeders”.
• Remove “weed” or undesirable trees from your landscape.
• Trim Nandinas.

Lawn Care

• Keep tree leaves from collecting on your lawn.
• Slow-release fertilizers may be applied on cool-season lawns.
• Add lime to lawns if soil test recommends amounts based on soil test.
• If applying weed control, read and follow all directions.


• Hardwood cuttings of many landscape plants like forsythia (yellow bells), flowering quince, weigela, crape myrtle, juniper, spirea and hydrangea can be taken this month.

Specific Chores

• Try sprouting a sample of leftover seeds. Roll 10 seeds up in a damp paper towel. Keep moist and warm. Check for germination in 7-10 days. If fewer than half sprout, order new seeds.
• Do not forget to care for holiday house plants like poinsettia, amaryllis, Christmas cactus, gloxinia and cyclamen.
• Do not use regular salts to melt ice on walks or drive, these can damage lawn and plantings.
• Order your small fruit plants like strawberry, blueberry and blackberry for a mid-March planting from your local Extension Center.
• Study your home landscape to see what additions or improvements can be made this spring.
• Visit your local Extension Center for landscape and garden information.
• Prepare a spot in the vegetable garden for early spring vegetables like English peas, cabbage, carrots, onions, Irish potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, spinach and turnips.
• Study your seed catalogs and check for the All-American Selections of flowers and vegetables.
• Keep bird feeders stocked and provide water for birds.
• Inspect house plants for insects and diseases.
• Repair and sharpen mower blades and gardening tools.
• Check condition of sprayers and garden hoses.
• Show your houseplants some love this month by taking a damp cloth and gently wipe dust off leaves.
• Collect scion wood for grafting and store in cool, dry place.