What To Do In The Garden In January

What To Do In The Garden In January 

Miscanthus In Winter - What To Do In The Garden In January


There is actually a lot that you can do this month in planning your garden for the coming year, doing some maintenance, taking care of your beds and plants and doing some projects. Take a look at a list of some of the things that you can do this month.

Now is a good time to have your soil tested to find out what are the nutrient needs of your garden.  If you don’t know of a lab that will do this, you can contact your local Extension Office and they should be able to give you the names of labs in your area.  Be aware that the small kits that you buy in the nursery are not exact and are not a substitute for a full test.

Start planning your garden for this year now.  You have likely already started getting seed catalogs.  Also, make sure to check with local nurseries for seeds that do well in your area.  I have already gotten about ten catalogs.

Start keeping a garden journal if you aren’t already doing so.  This way you have a better idea of what is doing well and what is not.  You can also keep track of where you planted stuff.  I need to do a better job of this, as I am really bad at keeping records.

.  Think about replacing shrubs or plants that are susceptible to disease.  Put that into your garden plans for the year.  Check with your Extension for the best planting time in your area.

If you haven’t already done so, clean, sharpen and oil your garden tools.  You really want to keep them in good shape, don’t you?  I like also keeping a garden tool bucket with oiled sand (vegetable oil) for keeping them cleaned off while in use.

Feed your birds.  They add interest to your garden year round, and especially in winter when not much is blooming and they need a food source.  We have hummingbirds year round.  And this morning I had these tiny Bushtits swarming on my suet feeder.  (See this short video.)

Put down a layer of mulch in your planting beds.  Do not make your trees into “volcanos”.  Pull the mulch away from the trunk.

You can prune dormant trees in my area.  (Check with your own Cooperative Extension on this for your area.)  Prune out any dead branches and general shaping.

Apply dormant oil to roses and appropriate trees, if it is appropriate for your area.  (Again, check with your Extension for the timing in your area.)

Begin planning garden projects.  Do you want a new trellis or pergola, a new deck?  Plan out drip irrigation for your garden.  Look for step-by-step how to plans or track down some contractors that will be reasonable.

.  Do projects you can do in your garage.  Make stepping stones, garden art, hypertufa pots.

Now I bet you thought that there is not much you can do in your garden right now, but there really is quite a lot that you can do now. Have fun making plans and getting out into the garden.

Reference: Oregon State University Extension Calendar



3 Replies to “What To Do In The Garden In January”

  1. Yes, lots to do in January, especially in the South! I even moved some Lollipop bulbs the other day. Mostly I just sit and dream of things to come though! I also like to be sure I’m ready, so I”ll buy soil conditioner now and potting soil, too. I want to be sitting on GO!


    1. Hi Leslie,

      We had a wonderful run of wonderful warm days a few days ago here in Oregon. I managed to get out and plant some garlic I found with some growth on it and pruned some low branches on my burning bush and dug out a runner from it. And we have been bagging up some excess leaves I have in my beds from my no-rake policy. And I am am now doing some planning with all the seed catalogs that are coming in. Most of the time I just run out, take a few pictures and run back in.



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