Here are the things to do for your garden in January! Taken from the Ontario Master Gardener Calendar by John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario. Please contact John for more information, or to purchase a copy of the calendar of the full year’s tips.
Here are the things that you should have done before we had all the snow. Just in case we get a mild spell and some rain to wash away the snow, here are a few things you still can do.
- Inspect house plants for white flies, spider mites and aphids.
- Apply insecticidal soap and spray with water.
- Inspect spring bulbs you may have stored or forgotten about. Discard soft or mouldy ones.
- Plant left over, not-yet-planted spring bulbs like daffs, tulips etc. in pots with good potting soil and a little bone meal. Water. Put the pots in an unheated garage or garden shed for 6 weeks. Take them inside in February or early March. You should get spring blooms in less than a month.
- Not much snow yet. If the thaws continue and before all the snow melts away, mound any remaining snow over roses and tender perennials.
- Cut the branches off your Christmas tree and place them over tender plants to catch the snow. It’s the freeze/thaw cycle that kills the plants.
- Expand your personal knowledge through on-line courses, plus look online for seed and plant catalogues.
- Start planning your garden for next spring. I’m already making lists of plants to divide.
- Make detailed lists; BIG projects, regular maintenance, new plants to buy and plants to divide and donate to the St. George’s Plant Sale, June 4 or 11 2022. Call 519-599-5846 for more info.
- Google “Seed Catalogue Websites” and see hundreds of seed sources.
- Order flower and vegetable seeds. Decide which seeds should be started inside.
- If you can find them, try forcing amaryllis and paperwhite narcissus now for indoor winter bloom that will cheer you up.
- At the end of the month, start the slowest germinating seeds like begonias and geranium, also seeds for early spring bloom e.g., pansy, verbena, alyssum and dianthus.
- The Markdale CO-OP, 1-519-986-2031, has a good supply of Triple-19 fertilizer still available. This is the strong agricultural fertilizer to put on top of the snow, only on your flower beds in March. It will fertilize your gardens all summer long. It’s worth the drive to Markdale!
John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario