Monday, January 5, 2009

Garden Activities for January

The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising, and never satisfied. They always look forward to doing something better than they have ever done before. ~Vita Sackville-West

The seed catalogs started arriving in December and the planning has begun! Today I have a few tips for January when most of us are itching to do something garden related.

First as you are looking through catalogs you'll see a couple of terms you should know. Scarification is one, and means to nick or file a tiny section of the seed before planting. It gives it a better chance of germination. Some seeds, like morning glories, can be soaked in water overnight instead. Stratification means to expose the seeds to a period of cold to break the seeds dormancy which will allow it to germinate. Usually you do this by placing the seeds in the refrigerator or freezer, depending on the temperature that is called for. Some bulbs may need this too if you live in a warmer climate.

What can you be doing this time of year, even if you are in a cold climate? You can start pansy and snapdragons inside if you want to get a head start and grow your own. In Zones 6 and 7 you can start cabbage and onion seeds inside too. In Zone 8 you can actually start hardening your seedlings off or quickly get them started inside if you haven't already. You can also start lettuce inside.

Zone 9 gardeners can sow carrots, lettuce, peas and greens outside, plus tomatoes and peppers inside!

Whatever zone you are located in, it's a good time for planning. Walk around your property with a tape measure and notebook. Makes notes of what worked for your landscape and what didn't, which plants need to be divided or moved, spots that seem to be lacking and you'd like to add plants. Measure those spots and take notes. Keep the notes handy when you are looking through seed catalogs and make your plans before spring.

Learn how to plan your own rock garden on OFL:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave us a tip, a comment or just say hi!