January Garden Chores

January Garden Chores

January is all about planning what you want to grow this year.  It is a good time to start ordering or purchasing seeds as many seed companies will sell out fast.  If we get a heavy snow, knock it off of your small trees and shrubs so they don’t break under the weight.

Also, don’t forget our feathered friends.  Put out birdseed and water for them.

Flower Beds, Trees and Shrubs

  • Deadhead flowers to encourage new blooms.
  • Prune broken tree and shrub branches that have been damaged by snow or ice.
  • Plant cool-season annuals in the garden beds, such as carnations, pansies, petunias, and snapdragons.
  • Fertilize established fruit trees. Plant dormant fruit trees.
  • To control scale on fruit trees, apply horticultural oil while plants are dormant.
  • Ensure that your garden is watered if it is getting less than 1 inch of rain per week.
  • You can apply dormant oil spray to deciduous fruit trees. Prune dormant fruit trees if needed.


  • Avoid excessive foot traffic in winter months to prevent compacting the soil.
  • Regularly remove any fallen tree limbs, compacted leaves, or any other debris.

Kitchen Garden

  • If you are planning to grow crops from seed, calculate the number of weeks required for indoor germination and when seedlings will be ready for transplanting.

House plants

  • Give your houseplants a good cleaning to clear away dust that can clogs the plants “pores”.
  • Check your house plants for insect infestations, especially if you received plants as a holiday gift.

Other tips

  • Test your garden soil for its pH levels. Contact your local Cooperative Extension office for a soil test kit. Then, apply lime, sulfur, and fertilizer according to the soil test results.
  • Prepare or build your cold frame. Try using a straw bale cold frame.
  • Sterilize seed-starting containers and collect all of your seed starting equipment, such as lights, heat mats, sterile medium, and pots.
  • Contact seed companies to receive the new catalog.
  • Refrigerated bulbs should now be planted in prepared beds. Provide a layer of mulch for protection from cold temperatures.