Even though we can have beautiful, even warm, days in January, pick up a handful of garden catalogs and avoid the temptation to get a head start on your spring chores! If you can’t stand to stay indoors, here are some chores you can do:
• Use a slow-releasing fertilizer on cool-season lawns if you choose to do so.
• Keep tree leaves from collecting on your lawn.
• Spread ashes from the fireplace around gardens and bulb beds where soil pH is below 6.0. Avoid acid-loving plants. (3 lbs of ash = 1 lb of limestone)
• Now is the time to put out limestone if needed (it takes about three months for lime to change the soil’s pH)
• Fertilize houseplants as needed.
• Asparagus crowns can be planted at this time.
• Hardwood cuttings of many landscape plants like forsythia (yellow bells), flowering quince, weigela, crape myrtle, juniper, spirea and hydrangea can be taken this month.
• Prune grape vines
• Any dead or diseased wood can be pruned out anytime of the year.
• Weeds or unnecessary trees should be removed from the landscape.
• Poinsettias should be placed in the sunniest room in the house.
• If you have received your soil recommendations, apply lime as suggested. Don’t apply fertilizer until spring.
• Order fruit trees and grape vines now if you wish to plant them in February and March.
• Continue putting the leaves from your yard into a compost bin.