January Gardening Calendar
Searcy, Ark. – 2020 is a wrap! It was a great year for gardening, simply because so many people were stuck at home!!
2021 could be the year for you to experience great satisfaction from your horticulture endeavors.
Newly planted or transplanted trees and shrubs will need water when dry, and container plants also dry out quickly. Shallow rooted vegetables and winter annuals would benefit from supplemental water if it is dry, particularly before a hard freeze.
Along with a little water, winter annuals including pansies and violas would benefit from some fertilizer periodically on a warm winter day. This will keep them blooming better.
Winter vegetables can grow all winter, provided the temperatures don’t drop too low. Keep some covering handy, and if temperatures are predicted below 28, you should protect them with an overturned box, pot or row cover. Harvest as needed throughout the winter but avoid contact when leaves are frozen since they will be brittle.
Watch for greening in your lawn as January continues. This greening in a dormant, warm season grass will not be lawn grass but winter weeds. If you can catch them early, you can stop their growth.
To clean heavily encrusted clay pots, scrub them with a steel wool pad after they have soaked overnight in a solution consisting of one gallon of water to which one cup of white vinegar has been added. After the deposits are removed rinse the pots in clear water. A brief soak in a solution of one gallon of water to which one cup household bleach has been added will help sanitize the pots.
Some plants are sensitive to the fluorine and chlorine in tap water. Water containers should stand overnight to allow these gases to dissipate before using on plants.
Wash the dust off of houseplant leaves on a regular basis. This allows the leaves to gather light more efficiently and will result in better growth.
Set the pots of humidity-loving houseplants on trays filled with pebbles and water. Pots should sit on the pebbles, not in the water.
Allow tap water to warm to room temperature before using on houseplants.
Fluffy, white mealy bugs on houseplants are easily killed by touching them with a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol.
Insecticidal soap sprays can be safely applied to most houseplants for the control of many insect pests.
Quarantine new gift plants to be sure they do not harbor any insect pests.
Amaryllis aftercare: Remove spent flower after blooming. Set the plant in a bright sunny window to allow the leaves to fully develop. Keep the soil evenly moist, not soggy. Fertilize occasionally with a general-purpose houseplant formulation.
Gently brush off heavy snows from tree and shrub branches.
Limbs damaged by ice or snow should be pruned off promptly to prevent bark from tearing.
Check stored summer bulbs such as dahlias, cannas and gladioli to be sure they are not rotting or drying out.
To reduce injury, allow ice to melt naturally from plants. Attempting to remove ice may damage plants further.
Use sand, bird seed, sawdust or vermiculite to gain traction on icy paths. Avoid salt or ice melters as these may injure plants.
Make an inventory of the plants in your home landscape. Note their location and past performance. Plan changes on paper now.
Sow pansy seeds indoors now.
Avoid foot traffic on frozen lawns as this may injure turf grasses.
Make a resolution to keep records of your garden this year.
Store wood ashes in sealed, fireproof containers. Apply a dusting around lilacs, baby's breath, asters, lilies, and roses in spring. Do not apply to acid-loving plants. Excess ashes may be composted.
Above all – enjoy your garden and stay safe in the New Year! The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. For more information you can contact your local county extension service, you can also follow Sherri Sanders on Facebook @UAEX.WhiteCountyAgriculture .
By Sherri Sanders
County Extension Agent - Agriculture
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Sherri Sanders
County Extension Agent - Agriculture
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
2400 Old Searcy Landing Road Searcy AR 72143
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.