Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tips for January

Now that I'm finished with visitors at Thanksgiving and Christmas, an after Christmas trip to Florida and a bout of illness I'm ready to get back to gardening and my blog. It has been such a warm winter here that it was well into December before many of my summer volunteer flowers died. When we drove up to our house after our trip to Florida I saw that some of my tulips had started to bloom! Many of the plants that should still be dormant are already showing signs of coming back. I'm wondering if this warm weather will continue to fool my plants making them comeback before what is usual for them. Of course southern gardeners always worry a late frost or freeze will damage early spring blooming plants and that may be more likely this year.Right now Tulips, Loropetalum, Osmanthus fragrans, Verbena, & Pansies are all blooming in my yard I discovered some leaf lettuce in one of my pansy pots!

Here are some things you can do this month:

• Clear a space for starting seed is indoors and do an inventory of what you'll need. A table or shelf with an adjustable light fixture above is a good setup for most of us. Now is a good time to shop for supplies like flats, seed-starting mix, containers and labels.
• Keep holiday plants looking their best by removing any decorative foil. Punch holes in the bottom for proper drainage if there is no hole in the pot.
• Add a bit of color to your indoor garden by placing silk blooms, colorful dried materials or cut flowers in a water pick among your household plants.
• Start a windowsill herb and greens garden. You can grow parsley, basil, marjoram, mint, rosemary and oregano as well as leaf lettuce, spinach and other greens indoor.
• Keep the beauty of your garden alive year-round. Enlarge and frame your favorite garden photos.
• If you have a Garden Journal check your notes/photos on last years garden and narrow down the list as shop garden catalogs arriving mail by now. If you don't have a Garden Journal consider starting one this month.