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Garden Tasks for January

The gardening season officially begins on January 1st
 and ends on December 31.
- Marie Huston


  • Continue preparing beds

  • Start seeds of fast-growing annuals indoors such as Zinnias and Marigolds

  • Sow seeds of hardy perennials outdoors, such as Cornflower and Larkspur

  • Apply pre-emergent herbicide, such as “Preen” to reduce spring germinating weeds.

Vegetables and Herbs

  • Plant cabbages, onions and leeks

  • Direct seed peas and continue succession plantings for lettuce, radishes and spinach

  • As soil warms, direct seed beets, carrots, turnips and other cool-season crops.

  • Cut back over-wintered sage and direct see or plant other herbs.

Patio and Container Plants

  • As the weather permits, place over-wintered containers and those started indoors outside

  • Sink empty pots into large planters to hold seasonal plants such as spring bulbs and summer annuals.

  • Fill gaps or replace winter plantings with those for spring and summer

  • Be prepared to protect tender plants from possible late frost; cover with a fabric material, not plastic.

Tree and Shrubs

  • Apply 2-3 inches of organic mulch around new and established plants

  • Prune young Azaleas, Wisteria, and Jasmine just after flowering to encourage compact growth. Remove dead and misshapen branches.

  • Apply a well balanced fertilizer, such as “10-10-10” or “Hollytone” to evergreens with yellowing leaves

  • Pinch off contorted new growth on pines to remove pine shoot moths.


  • Prune ever-blooming roses

  • Plant container roses anytime until July

  • Apply complete slow-release fertilizer, such as “Osmocote” to established roses

  • Begin weekly sprays to control black spot and mildew

  • Remove winter-killed wood from old garden roses but do not shape or thin at this time.


  • Start main season varieties indoors now

  • There are usually 4-6 weeks of unpredictable weather left before being transplanted outside

  • Early seedlings sown indoors may need transplanting to individual pots

  • Finish incorporation fertilizer, compost, over-wintered cover crops, or crop residues into the beds.

  • Check and clean last years cages, trellises, stakes, etc.

Perennials and Bulbs

  • Complete soil preparation, division, and planting

  • Weed, water and fertilize with “10-10-10” or “Plant Tone” as-needed

  • Do not remove foliage from spring flowering bulbs until it has started to dry-out on its own


  • De-thatch and aerate if not done earlier in spring or previous fall

  • Apply “Green Power” or “Preen for Lawns” at the recommended rate

  • Over-seed with a variety suitable for your area if not over-seeded last month

  • Keep moist until seeds until seed sprout. Aver 4-6 weeks, treat as an established lawn.

  • Apply pre-emergent herbicide “Crabicide Green” to established lawns.