Gardening in January
Gardening in January is not just the stuff of dreams or wishful thinking, but a time to organize, plan, browse through collected seeds and so much more. In addition to planning for the future, gardening in January is also a good time to focus on those often ignored indoor plants and to enjoy the snow covered shapes left by the remains of last summer’s garden.
Gardening in January is also a time to explore what if anything is alive in the winter garden. If you live in a warmer climate than zone 5a of southwestern Ontario, that nay be a challenge. Of course there are always pleasant surprises, such evergreen plants and a well known plantsuch as the Hellebore Christmas Rose.
The Hellebore Plants ( see previous blog post) are well know for cold weather blooming, yet when I find mine blooming the week of Christmas despite temperature dipping below 0 Celsius, I am amazed and overjoyed!
Despite the brutal winds in my area, being close to the house, the side garden is home to this lovely winter flowering plant . There are several other Hellebore plants that are not as sheltered and still have green leaves and one even has a bud. Sadly as the thermometer dips to -20, the leaves are barely alive and the bud seems frozen in a partially open state.
Gardening in January
Gardening in January is really a rest period for both you and your outside garden. It is a change to regroup and rethink both plants and structures that may or may-not have worked in the garden last summer. In addition, there is no time like the present to make a list of things to do in preparation for the next growing season, before seed catalogues begin to arrive in the mail.
My January chore list
1. Check on drying dahlia tubers and begonia corms etc to ensure not too cold/ hot/ dry: Move them if needed or lightly mist if they appear to be shrivelling up, to ensure firm fresh for success in replanting them
2. Tool tune-up: Clean up. sharpen. tighten or replace worn or broken hand tool tools. Larger tools can be checked on once the weather warms.
3. Grow light maintenance: If you use grow lights for your seedlings, now is a good time to check on bulbs, wiring, trays etc. Perhaps is it is time to replace or consider installing them.
4. Seed stocks: for those who have collected seeds form last years gardens or possibly a seed exchange program at a local horticultural society, time to take stock and discard old dry ones
5. Container collection: save those clear plastic salad containers and large pop bottles that can be used as mini greenhouse covers for new seedlings or plant cuttings