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January

Indoors

  • Take an inventory of your seeds. Check old seeds for viability by testing a few.
  • Place seeds between moist paper towels and if germination is low, discard and purchase new seeds.
  • Plan for a great garden! Lay out your garden plan on graph paper or use a computer database. Rotate vegetable crops to different locations each season.
  • Browse through garden seed catalogs and place mail orders for new seeds.
  • Start seeds of spring flowers such as pansies, dusty miller, browallia, begonias, snapdragons, and delphiniums indoors under fluorescent lighting.
  • Save wood ashes from the fireplace (keep dry) for the garden as they provide calcium, potash, and phosphoric acid plus trace elements.
  • At the end of the month, start seeds of onions, leeks, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower under fluorescent lighting.
  • Condition your wooden handle tools with floor wax or oil.
  • Force bulbs which have been held in the cold.
  • Make a composter bin, cold frame, or any other indoor project that you will use later.

Outdoors

  • Study the “skeleton” of your winter landscape and try to picture where you would place a pathway, arbor, or other improvement.
  • Remove heavy snow off shrubs.
  • On mild days, remove winter weeds of chickweed, hairy bittercress, and wild onions.
  • Hardwood cuttings may be made from garden shrubs, using new wood. Make cuttings 6 inches long, tie in bundles, and pack in damp sawdust or peat moss with the upper end exposed.
  • Grape vines may be pruned now.
  • Cut down vines that are damaging trees.
  • If you till your soil in the spring this is a good time to lay manure and ground limestone over the soil or snow.