Plans and Tasks
We think “first things first” is in order. Meaning what tasks did you want to accomplish last year, but you just didn’t get to them. Perhaps doing those things first is a good place to begin. Such as finishing up mulching around the trees in the yard or trimming back the Lori-ape or Vinca Vines that are under a tree or bordering a bed or sidewalk. It’s not too late. Both can be completed in January. You alone will know what those tasks are, but it might be good to finish those tasks now. Surely we will have a couple warmer days before we end our month. The outcome will make you very happy once we get closer to spring? as you will reap “new fresh growth.”
Winter Bedding Plants
Next on your January agenda could be planting a few “winter bedding plants.” We are pretty sure the nursery will have a few things you can fill in with, for a little garden appeal. Such as hardy cold climate Ivy, Pansies, Violas, ornamental Cabbage, Cyclamen, Camellia and evergreen grasses. You will glean some great satisfaction from planting something on a chilly….but sunny day. And then as we get closer to spring you will have a few ready made starters. Shortly Primrose will be available. Three of these Primrose will cheer you and they prefer the cold, so let them entertain you. Best part is they will bloom again for you next year. Doing these few things will ebb your cravings for spring to come sooner. After all, we have at least two more months of “real winter.”
And now is also a great time to begin sorting your seed packets. And be sure at the same time to make a list of seeds you want to purchase. Sort seeds in the order by which you need to plant them. If you do this now you will be ready once the nurseries start displaying new seed packets. In our area they arrive and sell out quickly, so if you have your list made, you can begin asking your local nursery when the seeds might begin to arrive. It’s best to be ready. Divide your list into what you have on hand; and what you need to buy. Now is a great time to Oder seed catalogs. Our Prairie Moon Nursery “winter” Catalog just arrived. Please do txt us if you would like to view it. We are happy to drop it by your house. It’s very inspirational.
Pot and Planter Cleaning
Another great task is cleaning up you pots. Discard all old dirt outdoors in a large container but reserve for use later. Wipe out your pots with old newspaper. Every day you can bring one in to clean it thoroughly. Make it a daily project and then it seems less overwhelming. You can wash them with sudsy water and use a brush to clean off any moss buildup or mildew. Rinse thoroughly and set aside to dry While you are at it take inventory, if you are missing saucers; make a list of the sizes you might need. Measure and take notes. Again all these tasks help you when spring arrives. And your winter “duldrums” will disappear as you see the progress you are making. It becomes a fun project.
In a previous post we provided a sure and perfect way to care for your hand tools (see our post entitled: Protecting Your Gardening Tools , JanWe have a goid task list started. We will list again tomorrow with additional winter preparation jobs that will keep you busy and focused on being engaged. It’s fun and inspiring.
….my gardening friends,
We began this post with plans and tasks. We left off with caring for our hand tools. This treatment applies to our watering cans and our large garden tools as well. And if you have a shed or storage area it’s best to store your hoses, sprinklers and wooden handled gardens tools inside. Do your best as they are costly, but more importantly, one becomes accustomed to the performance and the “feel in the hand” of our very own tools. Our tools are like our right hand. A comfort to bring them out in the spring. Familiar…..
Please remember to care for your Watering Can. This vessel takes some neglect once the season closes. Often you will find it tucked away in a corner so the fall winds don’t carry it away. Very often it’s filled with dead leaves and dirt/muck. And you might even find a tiny animal buried down inside. Please try to remember at the end if the fall season fur careful washing out. Bring it indoors and rinse it throughly with soap and water. Dry carefully. Use some baking soda mixed with water to give it a thorough cleaning and remove odor. Again rinse and dry. Do let it dry for a few days. Surely you will have a little mineral oil left over from preparing your tools for their “tub” storage. With a soft cloth rub the entire outside and inside with some of the mineral oil. A light coating is all it takes. It will soak into the crevices and prevent any rust buildup. It it is a safe and great way to keep you watering can in great shape and you should be able to then use the same watering can for years to come. Most of us have vintage metal watering cans and as they are becoming more rare, do take care of yours.
Lastly, if you have hanging baskets with annuals that have died back, now is the best time to clean them out. If some of the soil is moist and soft reserve it in a large container. It can be added to new soil and it often contains dead leaf material and is great for a compost starter. Even if your hanging planters are plastic it’s best to clean them out and January is a great time. Wash out an save them until you see what you need in the spring. Most hanging pots have removable hanging handles. Just give them a hard “push out” near the rim and they will come off; so much easier for storage purposes.
Again we invite your comments and helpful additions to our gardening posts. Every gardener has their own tips and tricks, and it’s so fun to share.
Please continue to follow our blog. We will cover bed cleanup, soil amendment, as well as edging beds in our next post.
Great to share…..and be with you.