January arrived with the steep drop in temperatures that I had come to expect from a lifetime in Ohio. What wasn’t normal was the second highest amount of snowfall in December history for this area of the country. Unexpected, but welcome.
Not only did I get a chance to cross-country ski a bit, but my garden plants had the blanket of snow cover that keeps them out of harm’s way (desiccating winds and heaving frozen ground). If your garden does not have snow cover, give it a periodic check to heel in heaving plants, and if temperatures cooperate, apply mulch.
Snowcover also tellsÂ of visiting animals. I noticed the rabbits paying regular visits to my flower border areas. Cute little cottontails are known by their prolific reproduction, but it is their damaging behavior in the garden that concerns me. I once lost a hefty stand of Siberian iris to a rabbit family (later found by our cats- a story best left untold).
January is prime planning time.
This is when we get our catalogs, sit down with our journals or notebooks and decide on what seeds to by, which perennials to add, and whether we would like a new tree or two. For many a gardener, this is a most enjoyable undertaking. If you intend to order seeds and plants, it is a necessary task to get those orders out before the mad rush of spring.
Are you planning on a Cutting Garden this year? Many of the prime sources for cut flowers are annuals, so check through your seed catalogs for the varieties you most would like to have in this year’s garden.
Many of the types of flowers you could easily grow from seed may not be available for purchase simply because more nurseries and plant centers have reduced their offerings due to economical belt tightening. There is no need to do without your favorite zinnias, or cosmos if you order them by catalog, now.
Trees and Plants
With snow comes the warnings that salt spray will damage, and possibily kill you plants; the same goes for spreading salt on icy walks. Remove snow as quickly and as completely as you can with a shovel and consider plant safe de-icers. Perhaps try Keep It Green KIG8 Snow & Ice Melter
Remember how damaging salt can be to plants, you can also use a substitute of sand or kitty litter as an alternative if you don’t wish to use the melter product.
- Keeping evergreens clear of heavy snow? I simply use an everyday kitchen broom to knock the snow off.
Keep your gift plants healthy, although I personally wouldn’t bother with Poinsettias. Others may be worth your time and attention, though.
Take care with snow removal and icy sidewalks. A tip I picked up from fellow garden bloggers was to get some “YakTrax”, easy slip-on traction for shoes. I think my husband needs a pair: he slipped twice this past December