If you’re a gardener, there’s always some kind of gardening that can be done any time of the year. While I won’t be doing any kind of outdoor gardening in January, I will be doing lots of garden planning and designing sitting inside by the heater. Here is the list for January’s Garden Chores.
1. Rest and Recuperate
Enjoy not having to mow the lawn, watering plants, or weeding. The colder months are a time to recuperate, relax, and rest from outdoor chores. Now that the holidays are over and the new year is settling in, a little more peace and quiet can feel nice. Be as rested as possible before the warmer months rev up.
A garden can still be enjoyed during the winter. I love watching birds at the feeders and seeing how snow lays over the garden. Even when there’s lots of snow on the ground I like to bundle up and go outside for a walk to observe the garden. Also think, is there anyway you can create a better winter garden? A winter garden is probably most observed from the windows in your house.
Pick out some garden or nature books you’d like to read. This is a good time to learn about something new you’ve thought about doing in the garden such as building raised beds, setting up irrigation, planting some new native plants, or growing a different type of vegetable or fruit.
3. Reflect on 2018
Make a list of tasks you completed this year in the garden. Write down any important observations you noticed. I have created a free PDF worksheet you can download. It has questions to help you think about your garden this year and next.
4. Plan for 2019
Make a list of tasks you’d like to accomplish in the garden this coming year. You can be as broad or as detailed as you like. Your list can include more ambitious projects like putting in a new pollinator garden, or be as simple as weeding and mulching a garden bed you didn’t get to last season.
Days warm enough to work outside can pop up unexpectedly. I like to have a task list ready for that day it’s nice enough outside to get something done. Getting things done early in the season is nicer, because it’s cooler outside and I’m more rested (and enthused!) from being inside during the winter months (aka cabin fever).
It’s a good time to shop for new garden tools and supplies. If you know of something you’d like, watch for sales. Many garden companies have sales in the spring. If you begin now, you’ll have time to research for supplies that’ll work best for your needs.
If you plan to purchase any kind of seed or plants, plan to order in January or February for first selection.
For spring projects, you may like to plan to any purchase materials you can early and have them ready to go for that warm day you can get outside. This way you can beat garden center crowds and save time.
5. Create a Garden Journal
For the first time in 2018 I had a garden journal and I really enjoyed writing down everything I did and my observations. I feel like it will be a handy guide to look back to. What I think I’ll find most interesting is comparing weather patterns. As I plan for 2019’s garden I can also look back and see what I thought at that time worked and didn’t work. The book is also a record of when I planted certain plants and what tasks I completed during the year.
This year I had ‘A Year in the Garden’ by Timber Press (a favorite gardening book publisher) and really like how it is laid out. It is not year-specific so it can be used any year.
On warmer winter days I still like to get outside for a little bit and clean out the garage and shed. It’s also a good idea to at least check for rodents, leaks, or anything needing repair.
If you have lots of seed packets, it’s a good time to organize and take inventory before ordering more. Seed packets fit perfect in these Homz clear plastic storage bins which I’ve used for the past couple of years.