Garden To Do List January

The weather outside may be wintry, but there is still plenty you can do to stay connected to the garden. Check out this list of garden related tasks and signature plants for the month of January.

  • Get out your catalogs and visit your favorite online garden stores because it’s time to start placing plant and seed orders for spring.
  • Don’t fret over emerging spring flowering bulbs such as tulips and daffodils. The foliage contains an “antifreeze” that will protect the plants from cold. If the plant blooms, cut the flowers to enjoy indoors before freezing temperatures return.
  • Pansies and violas will also hold up to freezing weather. Violas are especially cold tolerant surviving temperature drops down to 30 degrees F. If you are expecting 10 or more nights of below 30 degree F temperatures, cover your plants with newspaper, buckets or an old sheet until morning.
  • Recent research conducted by the Flower Bulb Research Program at Cornell University found that giving your paperwhites a cocktail will keep the stalks short and sturdy so they’ll stand straight without staking. Pot the bulbs in water and gravel as usual. Once the plants are about 2 inches tall, replace the water with a mixture of 1 part 40% distilled alcohol such as gin or vodka and 7 parts water or one part rubbing alcohol and 10 parts water. Continue to use this solution whenever you need to add more liquid to the container. If you don’t want to make daily cocktails for your bulbs you can also stake them using twigs and raffia ribbon.
  • As weather permits, cut back liriope ground cover and ornamental grasses before new growth begins. Liriope can be cut back with a line trimmer. Use sharp shears for ornamental grasses.
  • February is the official kick off of the spring flower show season. Make plans to attend a show in your area or travel to one of the big events such as the Philadelphia Flower Show or the Cincinnati Flower Show.