It’s the middle of January and I realize I haven’t personally tackled one thing in the lawn and landscape of my home. I am still looking at one decorated Christmas tree, which is now affectionately called our Valentine tree. I defend this because he is decorated with snowy ornaments and furry animals (thank you Target!). He simply has wintery appeal. But I am still receiving subtle hints from all the little men I live with that it’s time to move on. But as I walk through local stores staring at Valentine candy and see Easter bunnies peaking from boxes in the aisles, I realize I NEED to stop procrastinating. Spring will come and I must review the January checklist for the garden. Then I thought to myself I must share this so everyone else is reminded and I don’t feel so alone in my procrastination. Here are a few things to add to your weekend to-do list before the end of the month. I know, I know … you’re welcome! And please don’t limit yourself to just our list. There are wonderful resources on the internet and a variety of ideas/opinions so don’t hesitate to check out what others suggest.
- First and foremost, do not trim any wintery-flowering shrubs. Wait until after they are done blooming and then you can trim them!
- Second, hold off on pruning spring-flowering shrubs and trees until after they bloom as well.
Now you can assess the rest of the landscape – these are important reminders!
- – Feed the birds and hang a new birdhouse!
- – Have your burlap or outdoor covers handy for deep freeze temperatures we may start experiencing. Protecting tender trees and shrubs from surprise frosts and freezes are important for the next few months.
- – Check your newly planted trees and be sure any stakes or wires aren’t damaging the bark. Make necessary adjustments if needed to ensure the tree is also growing straight and not leaning.
– Prune your dormant trees and shrubs (see first and second reminder above). Shape up your trees by looking at the structure and remove any dead or damaged limbs.
– Be sure you protect your trees, shrubs and perennials with an extra layer of mulch!! It is important the rootball stays insulated, especially your hydrangeas and perennials! If you haven’t mulched and need assistance, don’t hesitate to call us. For Garden’s Sake in Durham can help with your project.
– Now is the time to plant your summer and fall flowering bulbs.
– Be sure you aren’t forgetting your container gardens. With wind and cold temperatures, they still require watering, particularly right before a cold front moves through the area.
– Keep your houseplants out of drafts and in bright spots. Increase humidity around your tropical plants and continue watering (may water less often but the same amount) and reduce your fertilization! Now would be the time to also repot any indoor plants that are pot-bound.
– For maintenance around the lawn, now is the time to inspect and address your drainage issues if you haven’t already noticed. With the recent excessive rain we have had in Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary, our landscape division has been installing drains, French drains, and re-routing downspouts for homeowners. Drainage in Durham has been an issue with many homes. We have also been adding berms to re-direct water flow to drains that carry water away from the lawn and into natural areas. If you are unsure how to address your own home and lawn, please let us know and we are happy to meet with you.
Now, bundle up and get out there! Oh, one more thing. Don’t forget to start the coffee pot or prepare your tea kettle before you head out! There is nothing better than working in the cold and warming up with a hot drink and sitting by the fire afterwards. It’s a very satisfying feeling! Happy January, procrastinators!!!!