What To Do In Your Southern California Garden In January

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2011. Some of you are probably not in the mood to garden this morning having spent a little too much time getting in the mood last night, however you still need your monthly list of what you can work on so here it is on this bright and shiny January morning.

Like other parts of the country you can spend some time perusing gardening catalogs with a cup of coffee or tea, order some seeds, find a new gardening tool or two and spend a little time cleaning up or tidying up your gardening tools. January is Get Organized Month, so your garden shed or toolbox would be a good place to start. If you live in the Los Angles area, you can call my fellow Harmonious Home Team Member Kim Rocke or my friend Christie Gelsemino and they can help you get started.

If you bought a living Christmas Tree this year, it’s time to move it outdoors. If you plan to bring it in every year, keep an eye out for pretty pots on sale now so that you can move it up as it grows in size. Those holiday pots may be on sale.

Now is a great time to shop for and plant both bare root roses and bare root fruit trees. You can also check for bare root trees, vines and shrubs and get them into the ground. The selection this month is growing as the local nurseries move the holiday decorations into the ½ price bin.

You can also plant Citrus trees and please be sure to plan ahead to protect them from frost damage. It’s been cold so far this year, and January has legendarily been a very chilly month. Your subtropical fruit trees would also benefit from a little extra attention. When I plant a new subtropical I like to leave some room around it and put four stakes around it. I like to get stakes that are taller than the tree and I place them so that when I drape my frost cloth over them, non of the cloth will actually touch the tree – I run out in the early evening and tent my babies and remove the frost cloth in the morning as it warms up.

You can still plant cool season annuals, and winter, spring and summer blooming bulbs.

Little Christmas lights draped in and around tender plants also help raise the temperature around them a bit, and let your yard continue to look festive!

Selecting Camellias during their bloom is a great idea – you can see what your plant has to offer. They make a stunning winter display that you can enjoy.

We in SoCal can sow seeds for the hardy blooming annuals, which can save you a little money on seedlings in the spring.

Peach trees can be sprayed for peach leaf curl, peach leaf blight and canker.

You can also apply dormant sprays to trees, shrubs, and vines. I recommend that you apply the dormant spray to your roses at pruning time… Superbowl Sunday. It’s a little too early to prune the roses right now, though the mow/blow/go landscape janitors would disagree with me. I stand my ground.
You can prune evergreen shrubs, and winter flowering vines and shrubs after they have flowered.

Another sowing of winter vegetable seeds or planting of seedlings wouldn’t hurt either; you will have more veggies until it’s time to plant the spring crops.

You can prune your flowering fruit trees while they are in bloom – peaches & nectarines benefit from this but you must wait until you are sure that the blooms have matured enough so that there is sure to be winter survival.

If your succulents and cacti have finished blooming and are too small for their pots, you can still repot them.

Cut back on your indoor plant fertilization, and read my Scene In SCV blog post on How To Care For Holiday Plants if you have received plants that you don’t know how to care for.

I hope this helps you to a great New Year of Gardening, enjoy yourself and have a great 2011!

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