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Garden Almanac

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January 2015

The Indoor Garden

The winter holiday season is complete and if you still have a few holiday plants in the house treat them just like your other houseplants. Bright sunny windows are perfect and water them approximately once a week but always check to see if the soil is still moist before watering. With the furnace running a lot in the winter month's lots of air movement can dry out plants faster than expected but every plant is different. Having lush tropical houseplants inside can bring a warm glow to our homes when it is cold, cloudy or even snowing outside.


In The Landscape

A new gardening year is here and January is the best time for observing and planning the landscape. There is no time to waste because spring is just two months away. Winter is the perfect time to make lists of any changes you want to make this spring. If you have anything to be dug and moved make a list of those things to.

Warm winter days are perfect for garden maintenance like moving shrubs or perennials as long as the ground is not frozen, edging bed lines, removing any remaining leaves from the lawn or landscape beds, cutting back grasses and perennial flowers, mulching and of course removing winter annual weeds. When spring arrives you will have that behind you and you can concentrate on the fun part, planting.

How your landscape bed lines flow or don't flow is very obvious in the winter and it is a great time to make changes to them if needed.  It is also a great time to add a stone edge or a completely new garden space. The garden should be different in the winter but it should still be beautiful.

One of the best times to prune many plants is in the winter. It is easier to see the shape and make good pruning cuts so when spring comes the new growth will look as natural as if you haven't done a thing. Take care not to prune any shrubs that bloom in spring or you will be removing the flower buds which are set and ready to burst into bloom when Mother Nature gives the signal. Nothing is more disappointing than forsythia with no flowers.

Only one month to go before spring flowering bulbs start to pop up in the garden if they haven't already. When they do broadcast some balanced dry fertilizer such as 6-6-6 or 10-10-10 around them. Most importantly this winter observe and enjoy this bleak but beautiful garden. I am continually amazed each winter with what I observe in my own garden space. There are lots of things happening in the garden even when it's cold outside.