January Delaware Garden Guide

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Happy New Year!

Here’s your January Gardening Calendar.

For the First Half of this Month

  •  On warm days, go outside and check your perennials and bulbs to see if they have been heaved out of the ground by freezing and thawing of the soil if we’ve had freezing temperatures.  If any heaving out of the ground is evident, press down firmly and cover with at least two inches of organic mulch.
  • Thoroughly check your house plants for pests.  If you find any, treat immediately before populations get too high.
  • Another common problem of house plants this time of year is the low humidity that is in most homes during the winter.  One way to increase the humidity is to place plants over, but not in, trays which have water in them.
  • In addition, low light levels in your home may be causing some problems and need to be adjusted.  Plants that normally do best on the north side of the house, move to an east window. For those plants which are ordinarily in the east windows, move to a south location.
  • Review your vegetable garden plans for the upcoming season.
  • If you bought a live-ball rooted Christmas tree, remember to water it, and it can be planted outside as long as the soil can be worked.

For the Second Half of the Month of January:

  • Sit down on cold, snowy or rainy days with newly received garden seed catalogs.  Compare new varieties.  An important consideration is improved pest and disease resistance over old varieties.
  • Pull out and check your notes from last year’s garden.  Re-order the varieties that you had success with and order new ones you may want to try.
  • Start yourself a pot of shamrocks to have ready by St. Patrick’s Day in March.
  • Start pansy plants from seeds indoors.  They should be ready to transplant outdoors in mid-March to bloom with spring tulips and daffodils.
  • Begin bringing in the pots of bulbs you prepared for forcing last fall.  Place in a warm 60-65 degree shaded location.  Move to a sunny spot when green leaves appear.
  • Begin  dormant pruning of fruit trees and grape vines now and try to finish them before March.  For more information on pruning, call the Extension Office at 697-4000 in Kent County and 856-7303 in Sussex County and ask for Extension Bulletin Number 197, “Pruning in the Home Garden”.  Cost for this bulletin is $1.50.
  • Winter is the ideal time to apply horticultural oil sprays to kill over-wintering mites, aphids, and scale.  Use this oil on deciduous plants and hardy evergreens, but not on needle-leafed species.  Spray horticultural oils when temperatures are above 40 degrees but not within 24 hours of a freeze (watch the local weather stations for this information).  Read and follow all label directions.

 

February Garden Guide >>