Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to take better care or your garden and landscape? If so, we are going to help you start off on the right foot by providing you with some gardening tips. These tips are specialized for the Mountain West during this time of year. Our January gardening tips for the Mountain West are as follows:
- The dramatic change in Mountain temperatures may cause some perennials “frost heave”, meaning they are pushed them slightly out of the ground. On a nicer day go out and simply step on the soil around affected plants to tuck them back in, which is a process known at the “February Stomp.”
- When shoveling or blowing snow, try to dump it atop perennials only if it doesn’t have salt in it. Snow is sometimes considered “white mulch,” a good blanket of it will protect plants from temperature extremes.
- Instead of sodium chloride use calcium chloride on your walks and driveways because it is less damaging to plants. Sand can even be used which doesn’t hurt plants either.
- If you saved any of the branches from your Christmas tree lay them around the bases of roses or over perennials as a winter mulch.
- Houseplant growth will be slow this month so don’t fertilize and keep watering to a minimum.
- Check on pots of any bulbs you forced late last fall. Most forced bulbs need 12-15 weeks of chilling. Remove them into warmth and sunlight indoors when the tips are 1-2 inches high.
- Start seeds indoors for those that grow the slowest, such as parsley, thyme, tarragon, bedding geraniums, and sage.
- Check on any stored plant roots or corms, such as dahlias or glads, for shriveling or decay and throw out any that are damaged.
- If you’ve been feeding birds, continue to do so and check feeders to make sure they haven’t become clogged. Also, fresh water is important this time of year. Consider adding a heater to your bird bath to keep birds warm.