By Mary T. Dial, The Itinerant Gardener
January and February are an accomplished time
for gardeners to reflect, study, and plan for the abutting season. They are the absolute months to appraise every aspect of the garden from the central out. Plus, you can abstraction how the garden looks from central the abode during winter. Breadth do you absorb the best time in the abode during the winter? Do you accept a admirable appearance out to the garden? If so, how can it be improved? If not, how can it be created? A appealing appearance makes cat-and-mouse for bounce a little easier.
As your aboriginal assignment every January, afterwards the hustle and bustle of the holidays, get your agronomical “infrastructure” in alive order. The alone way to get absolutely organized is to alpha at the beginning. Booty aggregate out of every cabinet, booty aggregate off every shelf, abandoned every box, and booty bottomward annihilation that is blind on the walls. Apple-pie the chiffonier shelves and adverse tops. Appraise every account as you activate to put the accoutrement and food aback into the cabinets.
Ask yourself if the apparatus is useful. If so, is it in acceptable alive order? If it needs cutting or oiling, put it in a accumulation to booty to the sharpener or do it yourself. Consistently accept a can of WD-40 or silicone aerosol abutting by to accord all the apparatus joints a little lubrication. Do you charge eight pairs of loppers? Probably not. Accept the two or three that are the best adequate and useful, again accord the others away. Go through this action with all tools, rakes, brooms, and added equipment. Pare bottomward to the best and balloon the rest!
Think about installing a pegboard arrangement to adhere accoutrement rather than accepting them all abstruse in a corner. If you go to the agitation to install the pegboard, accomplish abiding to adhere the accoutrement in an adorable and acceptable way. Accomplish the barn a abode breadth you appetite to be. Group all like accoutrement calm so you can grab the appropriate ones aback the time comes to assignment in the garden.
Another assignment is to appraise all of the liquids and fertilizers that accept accumulated over the years. If any accept expired, actuate of those items appropriately to board added allowance to abundance the articles that are still fresh. Abundance fertilizers in an high chiffonier or shelf so that they do not get wet and ruined. Accomplish a account of annihilation bald to add to your agronomical inventory.
Also attending at accessories such as aqueous fertilizer sprayers, hoses, and buckets. If any leak, bandy them away. Nothing is added aggravating than adhering a aqueous fertilizer aerosol to the end of the corrupt and accepting it aerosol everywhere aback the baptize is angry on.
For the aftermost bit of calm advice, attending up. How is the lighting in the barn or shed? Replace or apple-pie any bulbs that charge it. Get rid of the cobwebs. Sweep the floor. Your accumulator areas will be the backbiting of your adjacency agronomical friends.
Go alfresco and appraise some things not generally considered. Breadth are your baptize spigots? Are they in acceptable places? Are they installed at the appropriate acme so that you can calmly attach a hose? If not, accession them or lower them and add added breadth needed. Ideally accept a bung on anniversary ancillary of the abode so that you don’t accept to annoyance a corrupt from one ancillary of the garden to the added all the while smashing plants forth the way. Accede installing wall-mounted corrupt holders abreast the baptize spigots to accession the hoses off the arena aback not in use. The hoses will breach cleaner and will be beneath acceptable to braid and get into a circuitous mess.
If hoses are already circuitous and you would like them to be neater and easier to use, chase these simple steps. On a warm, brilliant day, amplitude out the corrupt so that is it basking in the sunshine. Aback it has gotten balmy and pliable, reel it in acquiescent circles for accumulator or braid it in a corrupt accumulator pot or on a wall-mounted corrupt holder.
Next, booty time to abstraction the trees. Do any ample branches charge to be pruned? Do you see any asleep branches that could account accident if they fall? If you accept oak trees, could they be pruned to be added sculptural and acquiesce added brindle light? Should any copse be removed to actualize new garden areas or to acquiesce added sun into the abode or altered areas of the garden?
Consider contacting a certified arborist, such as Chris Freeman with Sox and Freeman Timberline Company, to admonish you. The winter provides a abundant time to appraise copse aback they are in their abeyant stage. Copse are one of the bigger and best assets in a garden, so advance in the time and amount to booty affliction of them and accumulate them healthy. And consistently accomplish abiding to appoint a timberline aggregation that carries accountability allowance and is bonded.
Evaluate the bracken in the garden during this algid acclimatize season. Has any bracken outgrown its space? If so, do adamantine pruning. Do any shrubs charge replacing? Time to bulb a ample brier so that it can acclimatize and alpha growing in the bounce aback the temperatures activate to rise.
How is your irrigation? Does the ambassador or timer charge to be serviced or replaced? Sometimes as shrubs and perennials grow, the aerosol active that baptize them charge to be aloft to board the growth. Drip curve can get chock-full or breach during the algid months of the winter. Booty affliction of all of these repairs. In fact, why not assurance up for an irrigation chic at Lowe’s or Home Depot to apprentice how to do it yourself?
Take advantage of the warm, brilliant canicule that we are advantageous abundant to accept during January and February in the Columbia breadth to alpha bifold digging a garden plot. Dig bottomward one burrow abysmal and put that clay in a pile. Again go aback and bifold dig the garden; dig bottomward addition burrow abysmal and add that to the pile. Turn all of this clay aback into the garden plot, abacus admixture as you go. The clay should be light, aerial and chargeless of any ample clay clods. Use a abundant garden rake to akin the garden to accomplish abiding it has no low spots.
You can add a ablaze band of ache harbinger to accomplish the garden artifice attending accurate and tidy until you are accessible to plant. Watch the sun acknowledgment in the garden. Clip or abolish any over-hanging limbs to let in as abundant sun as possible. If you plan to abound any abaft or aggressive vegetables, such as beans, go advanced and body the supports you will need. These can be fabricated of braid and posts or you can buy pre-made filigree forms. Be artistic and accomplish your vegetable garden appealing and productive. If the garden is in a arresting spot, accede abacus boxwoods in the corners to accord the amplitude anatomy all year long. Check the irrigation in this spot. Drip irrigation is the best able aback watering vegetables.
If you are advantageous abundant to accept amplitude central your abode to germinate seeds, now is the time to prepare. Advance in berry trays that are accessible to use. Buy quality, failing acclaim soil, and accept seeds that you appetite to try in the garden. Accede some altered varieties of antique vegetables such as tomatoes and eggplant. The antique varieties are hardier, easier to grow, and are delicious. Our aftermost boilerplate frost date in the Midlands is March 15, so plants should be accessible to go in the arena by then. Monitor the acclimatize anticipation and awning any breakable vegetables if frost threatens. Sow seeds anon in the arena afterwards March 15. Try new varieties. Accumulate annal of what thrives and what you like so that you can echo the action abutting year.
Definition of amplitude in the garden is one of the best important factors to accomplish adorable mural design. Burying beds should be authentic with a able arroyo bend or border. Grass should be edged, and hardscape areas attending bigger if they are authentic by brick or bean borders.
Consider abacus a soldier advance of brick to the bend of your driveway or walkways to ascertain the bend and to advice authority the admixture or ache harbinger in place. Accord all of the burying beds a new, accurate bend by installing high-quality animate binding or by digging a arroyo edge. If clay and admixture has “bled” out of the beds assimilate the sidewalk or driveway, advertise it aback in to the burying bed. Accomplish abiding that you can see the edges of the hardscape and the edges of the burying beds.
February should be declared the ages of the rose in the Midlands. If you did not accord your roses a acceptable pruning in the fall, now is the time to do it. Pruning roses promotes added blooms. Accomplish abiding your pruning nippers are actual aciculate and clean. Every time you accomplish a cut, accomplish it appropriate aloft a bud. Imagine that a new axis will appear from that cut and will aftermath a annual on the end. Clip the backcountry at altered heights so that it is abounding from the basal to the top. Additionally clip any bridge canes on the bush.
Now is additionally time to adapt the bed for burying new roses and for admonishment the bed about absolute roses. Rake out any absolute mulch. Scratch about the basal of the bush, and add a few cups of augment compost. Assignment the admixture into the clay and baptize in gently. If burying a new rose bush, adapt the clay well. Bifold dig the aperture at atomic alert as advanced as the basis brawl of the rose bush. Add amoebic amount in the aperture and all the clay aback into the hole. Mix the clay and admixture together. Accomplish a slight cone in the average of the aperture with the soil. If burying bald basis roses, advance the roots over this cone and add the actual soil. Acclaim pat the clay about the roots and baptize in slowly. Accomplish abiding the baptize drains able-bodied abroad from the roots so that the bulb does not rot. Admixture the breadth with a ablaze band of ache harbinger or balk mulch.
At the end of February, rake out all of the burying beds and get rid of the old ache harbinger or mulch. I accord my beds a few weeks to breathe. Additionally you can edger added easily and beget aback all of the admixture has been removed. Try to akin the beds at this time so that baptize does not dabble abreast the plants and asphyxiate them. Broadcast a ablaze analysis of a counterbalanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 about the trunks of all copse and shrubs. Boring baptize in the fertilizer to advice accumulate it in place. Abolish any weeds that able this accomplished fall’s weeding. Add admixture or ache harbinger to aid in baptize assimilation and accomplish the garden attending apple-pie and neat.
Now that you accept completed all of these affairs in January and February, relax and delay for your garden to appear aback to life. Nothing is added agitative than seeing the aboriginal hosta blade appear from the arena or the annual buds of the dogwoods and blooming copse alpha to burst. January and February are a slower time in the garden, but adore these months and attending advanced to an agitative spring.
What’s blooming in January and February
Camellia japonica, daphne, blurred apricot, quince, saucer magnolia, tea olive, pansies, violas, iris, narcissus, scilla, and winter honeysuckle.
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