January: Gardening Activities

Our Average Daily High Temp for January is 31°F

Arctic Fire™ Cornus in JanuaryNo matter where you are, no matter what your climate, January presents some unique opportunities for gardening. In the north, gardens are sleeping and likely doing it under a blanket of snow, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan for warmer days. And in southern climates, even if you can actively garden year round, January has its own planning opportunities.

This month is the time to thumb through gardening books and magazines, taking note of ideas you may like to incorporate into your own gardens this year. Make a list of your plans, as well as those plants that you want to purchase for your garden. Have a look at the plant offerings Garden Crossings has and see if some of them will work well for your plan. Order in January and take advantage of the early-order discount and remember, you can place your order at any time, but you won’t be charged until your order is shipped.

Snow is a great insulator, helping to protect the roots of perennials during cold spells. But you can have too much of a good thing when it comes to snow lying on the branches of small trees, evergreens and shrubs. Heavy wet snows can sometimes cause damage to dormant branches, which are more brittle. You can help by gently brushing the snow off to relieve them of the weight.

This can be a good time to do some winter pruning of deciduous trees and shrubs. They’re dormant, so pruning isn’t likely to stimulate growth yet and the lack of foliage allows you to see what may need to be pruned away. Remove crossed and rubbing branches as well as any that are dead or diseased.

Don’t prune those that are spring bloomers, however. Lilacs, big leaf hydrangeas, magnolias, and forsythia are types of shrubs that form their flower buds in the fall. Pruning them in the fall or winter, before they flower, means you’ll be cutting off some of their blooms. Prune these immediately after they’ve finished flowering.

Snow cover makes it more difficult for overwintering birds to find food. Keep your feeders full, because once they’ve discovered your feeders, they soon come to count on you as one of their prime food sources.

Perform a close inspection of your house plants. Winter seems to be the time that pests appear, such as aphids, white fly, and mealy bugs. If you find them, a trip (or two) to the shower to rinse them off may be all that’s needed. You can hand pick them off as well, but if they’ve become established, spraying with an organic product such as Neem oil may be in order.


  • Plan your garden for the coming season
  • Keep small trees, shrubs, and plants free of heavy snow on their branches
  • Do some selective pruning
  • Keep your bird feeders full of seed for our feathered friends
  • Check house plants for pests and treat, if necessary

Watering Info:

  • Plants need very little water during the month of January since they are not actively growing.
  • The melting snow and possible rains take care of watering here in the Midwest.

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