More January Garden Tips

Tip 4: Clean up used flower pots by soaking in a tub of hot water and liquid bleach. (1 cap bleach to 1 gal water) Allow the water to cool, scrub pots with a stiff brush and rinse well.

Tip 5: Check perennials to see if any have been pushed out of the ground by alternate freezing and thawing weather. If so, push them back into the soil; otherwise, the exposed roots will dry out and die. Replace mulch if it has blown away.

Tip 6: Brush snow from evergreens as soon as possible after a storm. Use a broom in upward, sweeping motions.  Serious damage may be caused by heavy snow or ice accumulating on the branches.

Tip 7: If you have some time this winter, paint the handles of garden tools red or orange. This will preserve the wood and make the tools easier to locate next summer when you lay them down in the garden or on the lawn.

Tip 8: When pruning large limbs always undercut first. This means to cut from the bottom up, 1/3 of the way through the limb, then finish by cutting from the front. The undercut keeps the limb from splitting & breaking off, which could damage the trunk and become an entryway for insects and diseases.

Tip 9: Most garden plants thrive on our acidic soils, but a few enjoy a more basic environment. Irises are happy with a slightly higher pH.  If you burn a fire, save the ashes for spreading around irises or pink hydrangeas.  A little lime around them in the spring will give the same effect.

Tip 10: Winter months are a great time to plan for upcoming spring planting. Check your previous seasons’ notes – what tomatoes did best, what plants did poorly, which areas produced best & least, etc. Draw your planting diagram for the upcoming spring planting. Remember to rotate your crops.

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