Learn exactly how to care for these double-duty garden staples.
- Choose winter-blooming succulents like aloes for your garden now when you can see their floral colour and shape.
- Plant camellias, cool-season herbs and natives.
- Reduce watering times now that we can expect some seasonal rains.
- Conserve water by capturing rainfall.
- Shop for bare-root bargains and new plant introductions.
- Pick weeds and snails out of the garden. There’s a comprehensive weed gallery on the University of California, Davis website. For snails, you can handpick them if you’re thorough. Alternatively, you can set out a bowl of beer and they’ll drown, or use iron phosphate in liquid form. Try the Garden Safe Slug and Snail Bait and Killer.
- Move holiday plants, like Christmas cacti and amaryllises, into the garden to enjoy for months to come. Keep them in their pots and place them in a cool, sheltered spot outside for a few hours a day. By springtime, they’ll have adjusted and you can plant them in a permanent spot.
- Check your winter veggies. Many started in October or November are ready for harvest now.
- Protect plants if temperatures drop to freezing. Moist soil holds heat and helps plants stand up to frost. Move potted plants close to the house on the south side or put them in a garage or shed at bedtime. Cover plants that can’t be moved with sheets or drop cloths.
- Give your garden some colour with annuals like pansies, Johnny-jump-ups and poppies. Plant early in the month when temperatures are cool.
Where You May Find Me This Month
I’m planning on burning some calories at Balboa Park’s free walking tours. I’ll start off with leisurely walks at 1 p.m. on Sundays and Tuesdays and learn about the park’s gardens and architecture from park rangers. At 10 a.m. on Saturdays, I’ll learn about specific plants when volunteers lead one-hour themed walks. Visit balboapark.org/visitor-center-tours for more info.
I’m going to go to the nursery this month to check out bare-root fruit trees. January is the best time to get the largest selection.
On January 13, I’m bringing my gloves and pruning shears with me to the San Diego Rose Society’s pruning demonstration at the Inez Parker Rose Garden in Balboa Park where rose experts demonstrate proper pruning and then attendees get to give it a whirl.
What’s Inspiring Me Right Now
I’m reading and listening to… A Way to Garden (awaytogarden.com), which is both an informative site and a podcast that provides everything from recipes to monthly chore lists. If you’re looking for a new homepage as an ultimate garden resource, check out what this site has to offer.
I’m inspired by… Ana White (ana-white.com) and have been “pinning” everything she has to offer for years. Her DIY plans have personally encouraged our new shed, garden beds and sparked motivation for new spaces around our property. Take a look at her easy plans for a variety of sheds. Just type “cedar sheds” into the search function.