Teresa’s What to Do in Your Garden January Reminders

Teresa’s What to Do in Your Garden Reminders

January 2024

Average temperatures High 72 Low 50

Rainfall 2.43 inches

Florida Arbor Day: January 19th

What to plant:

Flowers: Alyssum, baby’s breath, calendula, California poppy, cleome, candytuft, carnation, delphinium, dianthus, dusty miller, foxglove, gaillardia, geranium, godetia, hollyhock, Iceland poppy, lobelia, nasturtium, ornamental cabbage & kale, pansy, petunia, Shasta daisy, statice, stock and sweet pea.

Vegetables: Asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, collards, endive, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, onion sets, peas, potatoes, radicchio, radishes, roquette, rutabagas, spinach, Swiss chard and turnips.

Herbs: Anise, bay laurel, cardamom, chives, coriander, fennel, garlic, ginger, lavender, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, sweet marjoram, thyme and watercress.

Bulbs: African iris, Asiatic lilies, amaryllis, blood lilies, bulbine, crinum, day lilies, Louisiana iris, society garlic, spider lilies, rain lilies, refrigerated Dutch iris, tulips, daffodils and hyacinths for forcing.

Lawn Care

· Great time to wean overwatered turf by irrigating only once a week. If your lawn is declining, resist the urge to overirrigate with the La Nina winter warm temperatures.

· Make two New Year’s goals to check weather weekly for rainfall so you don’t need to add supplemental irrigation and check water bill for outdoor water usage monthly.

· Once a week watering is the rule and normally adequate at this time of the year.

· If your area is receiving cold temperatures, one benefit of the cold is declining weeds; remove and fill bare spots with sod.

· Continue to mow growing turf to keep a uniform look and control weeds.

· Feeding time is over until late winter for lawns.

· Try regreening yellow lawns with an iron or minor nutrient application if needed.

· Large tan circular spots in lawns are likely due to the brown patch a fungus.

· Brown patch affected lawns should recover; apply a fungicide to prevent further damage.

· Insect activity is minimal, and insecticides are not normally needed until spring.

· Spot kill patches of persistent winter weeds with a selective herbicide for your lawn type.

· Fill in bare spots with sod or plugs; delay seeding of permanent grass until spring.

· Ryegrass can be seeded to temporarily regreen brown turf or fill bare areas.

· Have a lot of weeds in your turf? Reduce turf and create garden beds.

· Make sure when you reduce turf to retrofit irrigation zones to water turf and beds separately.

· Turn sprinklers off prior to freezing weather.

· Perform annual maintenance on lawn care equipment.

Landscape Chores:

· If there is frost, resist the urge to prune away damaged or dead foliage. Pruning may encourage new growth that is not winter-hardy and increase likelihood to be damaged if winter ever arrives.

· Replant declining flower beds and planters with hardy cool season selections.

· Container gardens are a good way to enjoy plants in the landscape.

· Add hanging baskets of color where they can be easily seen.

· Feed container gardens weekly if needed for growth, in ground annual plantings monthly.

· Annuals and perennials need watering one or more times a week.

· Check mulch layers and top-dress as needed to conserve water.

· Winter is a good time to add hardy trees, shrubs, and vines to the landscape.

· Make sure root balls are moist at planting time: add a berm to direct water through root balls.

· Make New Year’s goal to check mature plant size space needed before purchasing and planting shrubs and trees in landscape.

· New trees, shrubs and vines need frequent hand watering to keep their root balls moist.

· Leave browned ornamental grass dried flowers for wildlife till the end of month or February.

· Leaves are falling from trees and shrubs; use as mulch or add to the compost pile.

· January is a good time to begin yearly pruning of trees and shrubs.

· Trim dead or declining portions from trees and shrubs.

· Schedule major tree trimming now to be ready for severe 2021 weather. Always use a certified arborist.

· Crape myrtle grooming can begin this month; remove seed heads, twigs smaller than your pinkie, and any crossing branches. Make sure there is plenty of room for branches to grow without touching other branches.

· Remove crapemyrtle suckers growing from ground. Keep 3 -5 trunks if room for good air circulation.

· Remove dead fronds and old seed heads from palms but keep all green leaves.

· Groom landscapes by edging beds and walkways.

· Divide and replant perennials.

· Learn what plants need winter protection, many benefits from the cold.

· Only protect cold sensitive plants from frosts and freezes with frost blankets or large boxes.

· Thick fabric covers secured to the ground but not touching plants are the best cold protection.

· Turn off automatic irrigation systems during freezing weather.

· Install micro-sprinklers to conserve water and water only where needed.

· Catch and store rainwater to use with container and landscape plantings.

· Reduce landscape maintenance by planting fewer annuals and more perennials.

· Groom hanging baskets and planters by removing old flowers and lanky stems.

· Protect orchids and tropical foliage plants from temperatures below 45 degrees.

· Test soil acidity in azalea, philodendron and ixora plantings and adjust if needed.

· Turn Christmas trees into wildlife feeders or mulch for the landscape.

· Dig and move trees and shrubs from one area of the landscape to another.

· Repair gardening equipment.

· Place bird houses, feeders and baths in the landscape.

· Add ornaments including statuary, a gazing ball or a sundial to the landscape.

· Repair wooden benches and chairs.

· End of month: Prune ornamental grasses down to 5” – 6”. Remove

surrounding debris.

Vegetable and Fruit Gardening

· Make sure you have latest seed catalogs for flowers and vegetable spring planting.

· Make New Year’s goal to journal your gardening experiences.

· Many fall crops were poor performers due to the weather. Try replanting as winter temperatures arrive.

· Cloth covers, loose hay, and boxes may be needed for protection from frost or freezes.

· Feed winter vegetables and herbs every 3 to 4 weeks or use a slow-release fertilizer.

· Lightly mulch gardens to keep the soil moist, control weeds and keep edibles dirt free.

· Start seeds of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants in early January for March transplants.

· Prepare spring planting sites by adding lots of organic matter to sandy soils.

· Encourage pollinators to visit by planting clusters of flowers among vegetables.

· Save shipping charges; locate seeds, bulbs, and transplants locally.

· Store saved seeds in the refrigerator in a sealed container until planting time.

· Add bird netting to strawberry plantings.

· Caterpillars are common cool season pests, control by handpicking or natural sprays.

· Harvest herbs and start new plants to have a continual supply.

· Prune time has arrived for apple, grape, peach, pear and fig plantings.

· Plant hardy fruit trees, shrubs and vines.

· An acid soil is needed for blueberry production; have your soil tested before planting.

Indoor & Foliage Plant Care

· Live plants make the indoors attractive and help purify the air.

· Make New Year’s goal of adding fresh soil to all your plants and fertilize with diluted fertilizer throughout the year.

· Cactus and succulents only need watered once a month or less with winter temperatures.

· Orchids will have reduced growing once cold temperatures arrive, water and feed less till spring.

· Check orchids weekly for insects.

· Make sure Cymbidium orchids have high humidity. They thrive with cooler (not cold) temperatures this time of year.

· Dendrobium orchids need less water to go into dormant state before Springtime. Do not let temperatures for Dendrobiums to drop below 65°.

· Phalaenopsis orchids blooming period begins. Provide good air circulation. Do not get flowers wet – water only roots and soil medium.

· Vanda orchids with bright locations begin their blooming period. Water 2x -3x a week.

· Check out new lighting systems that make it easier to grow plants indoors.

· Enjoy holiday plants if they remain attractive as they decline move them outdoors

· Keep existing plants a lot longer by giving them at least weekly care.

· Check foliage plants brought indoors from the landscape for pests.

· Use a mild soapy solution to wash indoor foliage to remove dust and control pests.

· Trim off yellow leaves and declining flower stalks.

· Move declining plants into the higher light levels.

· Water foliage plants when the soil dries to the touch.

· Check mature, taller indoor plants have plenty of fresh soil. Change out soil every 1 – 2 years.

· If houseplants are outgrowing pots and you do not want to put in larger planter, take plant out of pot, cut 1/3rd of roots off, add fresh soil, and repot plant.

Photo: Teresa Watkins

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