TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – What’s A Gardener To Do In January?


First, Happy New Year to all you gardeners.

Whatever the weather and regardless of where we live, January marks the start of another garden year. We made it to 2019. Somehow, all the gardening disappointments of last year with the excessive rainfall seem to be vanishing as we look forward to another great gardening year.

So, back to the topic – here are a few suggestions as to what, we gardeners, can be doing to help pass our time in January:

  1. Take advantage of sunny, mild days and walk around your gardens. In other words, get out of the house! Take a notebook with you and cell phone to take notes and pictures. Keep in mind that this stroll can be considered exercise for both the body and the mind.
  2. Get into the tool shed. Now is a good time to clean and sharpen all the tools to get ready for the upcoming spring gardening season. To help you with this project, we have a tool sharpener vendor that is with our Thursday farmers’ market. Your tools can be sharpen on the spot.
  3. So far this month we are experiencing some normal, mild temperatures. Our ground is not frozen. So, we can still be doing some planting in Central Virginia. Only frozen ground makes it not a good planting time. So, be my guest to go outside and do some planting or do some relocating of existing plants.
  4. If you were given some flower bulbs, such as daffodils or tulips, for Christmas, let’s get them in the ground as soon as possible. The bulbs need the winter and they will bloom for you in the coming months.
  5. Think indoor, tropical plants for the winter by adding some plant color on a window sill or in a bay window. Some easy to care for houseplants include Kalanchoes, Anthuriums, Bromeliads, African Violets, and others. Many houseplants are considered “ clean air machines” as they help to purify the air that we breath.
  6. Don’t forget that bird feeding/watching is the # 2 outdoor hobby – behind gardening. So, try hanging a bird feeder for our feathered friends. It is so much fun watching all the birds this time of year.
  7. The spring, 2019, flower and vegetable seeds are here – along with seed starting supplies. January is a good month to shop for your wanted seeds and supplies.
  8. Are you a year-round container gardener like me? For the next couple of months you may want to consider moving container gardens up against the house or a shed just for added protection – especially herbs like rosemary and lavender.


4 thoughts on “TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – What’s A Gardener To Do In January?”

  1. Is it ok to leave pansies out in clay pots. The pots are 8 & 10-12 inches. I can only grow pansies on my front stoop due to a large deer population in the area. I just recently bought the pansies there.

    • Sue Ann,
      First, thank you for ready my blogs and taking the time to send me your question. Yes, it is ok to leave pansies out in clay pots. Matter of fact, I have 4 different container gardens with pansies or violas blooming in them right now. I love it. Just keep this tip in mind. You do not want your container plants to be dry going into a cold period. I watered my containers yesterday and then we have the snow coming this weekend that will cover and insulate the pansies and as the snow melts will give the plants a slow watering.

    • Barbara,
      Thank you for this question. Now is a great time to prune back your roses – maybe except any climbing roses. We have Knock Out roses in our garden center landscape and we trimmed them back last week. The roses are dormant right now and have no leaves which allows you to see the entire structure of the rose bush. So, pick a nice day to be outside and cut back your rose bush(es). A couple pruning tips: remove and thin out the smaller interior branches. And, take back the plant to be 2 or 3 feet from the ground. And, do your cuttings on a 45 degree angle instead of straight across. By trimming branches on an angle will help assure that water will not sit on top of the branches and potentially rot the tips of the branches. Let me know if you have any further questions. Take care, Doug

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