January Gardening Thoughts and Chores


I want to start by looking back on December. We were concerned about how dry we had become at the beginning of December. We were abnormally dry. But, on December 10th, we got a great soaking of rain that amounted to over 3 inches of rainfall. Great timing to water everything in. Thank you, Mother Nature! And we got a little bit of snow as well. We got a lot more rain the weekend of the 15th. In a nutshell, we are in good shape as we get into January.

January can be a depressing time for many gardeners. We love being outdoors. We love being around our plants. To help in this downtime, think about growing more houseplants and transforming our love of plants. We can try growing herbs like thyme, basil, oregano, lavender, and parsley. These herbs can be grown indoors in a very sunny window.

Another garden chore is getting into the tool shed to organize and clean it up. This is also an excellent time to get your pruners, loppers, mower blades, etc. sharpened and ready for spring.

Don’t forget to feed the birds. The birds need our help with food, water, and shelter this time of year. Birding is the country’s second most popular outdoor pastime after gardening.

Spring 2024 flower and vegetable seeds are here, along with seed starting supplies. January is a good month to shop for your wanted seeds and supplies.

Yes, it is winter. Yes, it has gotten cold. But you can still plant now. I just did a soil temperature test, and our soil temperature is 40 degrees—not frozen ground. Only frozen ground makes it not a good planting time. So, be my guest to go outside and do some planting or transplanting and relocating existing plants.

Many of us are using our fireplace now. If you are spreading the ashes from your woodburning stove or fireplace, be aware that, over time, you are raising the pH of your soil. The safe rate of wood ash application to lawns or gardens is 15 to 20 bls per 1,000 square feed (approximately a 5-gallon bucket). Remember, a little wood ash is beneficial, but a lot is not. Have your soil pH tested periodically.


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