Here in Northern California, January is one of the coldest months. Veggie growth is limited, the ground is (hopefully) to wet to work, and the sky is dark by the time most of us get home from work. But keeping a homestead and a garden is a year round adventure, and there are still plenty of things to do during this cold and dark month!
The Northern California & Sonoma County January Checklist:
- Dream of Spring. Read the seed catalogs, plan what and where to plant.
- Pray for Rain. That one rain storm we had didn’t do anything to get us out of this damn drought, so keep doing your rain dances!
- Shop for seeds. Some companies, especially the smaller ones, do run out of certain or rare varieties.
- Shop for bare root plants. Fruit trees, berries, asparagus, horseradish, rhubarb, now is the time!
- Plant bare root plants: I’ll be doing a post on planting strawberries later this week, and check out this post from last year about planting fruit trees.
- Shop for summer blooming bulbs. Order dahlias, gladiolus, lilies and other summer bloomers now.
- Keep an eye on houseplants: The constant dry-heat from heating systems stress house plants out, so make sure to keep well watered and mist occasionally. Relocate to a sunnier window if needed, and turn periodically to keep the plant in balance. If you have an ant issue, check your plants. I’ve found nests living in mine more than once.
- Watch for frost: Check weather reports or use your senses on if frost is expected. Cloudless sky, no wind, dry and cold or projected low of 35 or cooler means cover up the frost tender plants or bring them inside, like citrus or succulents.
- Prune: Now is the time to prune deciduous fruit trees, roses and ornamental shrubs. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea how the hell to prune correctly, so if your like me, enlist in help. I plan to ask my neighbor who has several successful trees, and I’m sending Matt to take a free class at Harmony. They have several coming up.
- Spray fruit trees : If you use it, apply a dormant spray to kill overwintering insects and spray sulfur for peach leaf curl.
- Harvest citrus: They don’t ripen off the tree and reoccurring frosts will dry the juice up, so pick them when they are ready.
- Clean and repair tools: Sharpen the pruners, track down the trowels, and oil wood handles so everything is in good shape.
- Feed the bird: tuppence a bag, tuppence, tuppence…..(No? Ok, moving on….)Help the wild birds survive the hardships of winter by putting out seed and suet.
Anything I forgot? Is there something you do make sure to do in January for your home and garden?
Also- Happy New Year! Did you notice the new design? I figured it needed a new look. Are the pictures to big? I’d love any feedback or thoughts! -M