The first month of the year for gardeners is usually calm and free from work. On the street - frost, everything is covered with snow, holidays ... But the gardener is somehow uncomfortable. Something seems to be missing. We got used every day from morning to evening to communicate with our garden, to constant work in the garden or vegetable garden. But, here's what an interesting thing turns out, right now, in January, you can do the garden without fuss and haste. And there is something! In this article, we recall some of the significant points that it is important not to miss the gardener in January.What not to forget to do in January gardener?
We walk around the garden with a notebook and pen
Suppose January is snowy and frosty in your area. So make yourself go out into the garden every day and walk in the fresh air. It is good for your health and for your garden. It is in the snowy garden that all lines and bends are clearly visible. It is clearly seen that where it was planted incorrectly, not in its place, but where it is completely empty.
Take a walk with a notebook and pencil, take notes for the future, do not rely on your memory. A good idea for future landing options is hard to come by, but easy to leave, forgotten.
Take practical benefit from such January walks: check if plants are securely covered, is it necessary to fix, strengthen, add somewhere? Inspect the stems and trunk circles, are they not exposed, is there enough snow? Or, on the contrary, is there more snow adhering than is needed on the branches, is it worth shaking it off (!) So that the branches do not break under its weight (especially true for colonized conifers).Walking in the garden in January, check if you need to help plants.
All kinds of shelters made by us not only warm the plants, but, unfortunately, serve as a home for unwanted rodents in the garden - mice. And the problem is not that they are basking under a pile of foliage or straw, but that they don’t need to have lunch and go out. The bark of young seedlings is quite acceptable food in the winter. How to fight?
The recommended poison in the near-stem circle is not the best option (remember pets), but plastic bottles with sunflower oil buried in the neck are quite suitable. Or mechanical protection of boles with garden bandages or even pantyhose and nets from vegetables, too, will do. Such protection, made to the desired height, will save from another gnawing misfortune - from hares. And there are regions where there is no escape from them in winter.
Read also our material 5 ways to protect the garden from rodents in winter.
If there is no snow in the garden
But what if there is no snow in your region? In the case of lack of snow and frost, it is worth maximizing the insulation for plants - mulching with a thick layer of plant debris. And in the case of thaws, the shelter should be slightly opened, allowing cold air to penetrate inside.
Separately, it is worth recalling some garden crops with a short period of deep physiological rest - say, apricot. He sleeps deeply until around New Year, and then only low temperatures hold him back. So in the case of a prolonged January thaw, his kidneys may begin to lose their protective functions and wake up. Inevitable frosts in the second half of winter will destroy them.
There is nothing for the gardener to do, just pray. But it’s much more efficient to grow regionalized varieties and crops suitable specifically for your area with all climatic features. And just in January, it’s worthwhile to study what grows in your area without problems and is presented on the garden market.
There are regions with thaws, when the temperature rises above zero, a significant plus. You can do some time-consuming gardening, significantly saving your spring time. For example, pruning trees and shrubs.
In January thaws, it is quite possible to harvest cuttings for spring vaccinations. Strong annual growths from the middle part of the crown are best suited for this. Just do not cut them directly into cuttings, if possible, store the whole branches. So fewer of them will evaporate valuable moisture.
In principle, you can buy planting material from other gardeners in your region, but subject to shipment at positive temperatures.
In the event that no snow or other precipitation is expected, evaluate the extent of the problem, and if it is real (not dismantled, for example, water supply), carry out a water-charging irrigation again.
In regions with thaws in January, you can do some labor-intensive gardening, such as pruning trees and shrubs.
Read also our article. What is moisture charging irrigation and how to apply it correctly?
We check the seeds for germination
January is a great time to prepare for the new season, because February with its sowing chores is just around the corner. Therefore, quietly, slowly, carefully, meticulously, we select seeds of vegetables and ornamental plants, containers for sowing and soil mixtures in garden shops.
When buying seeds, be sure to look at the date of manufacture and expiration date. As a matter of fact, it is in January that you can check the seeds for germination - both newly purchased and from old stocks. To do this, put a dozen seeds on a damp cloth, wrap in a plastic bag and put in a warm place.
See what happened in a couple of weeks. Did everyone bother? Excellent! Half bent over? It’s also good, but in the spring it will be necessary to sow more and denser. Didn’t bother anything? In the trash! And look for fresh, high-quality, there is time.
Read also our article How to determine seed germination?
By the way, in January, many already "really" sow, in large quantities. The fact is that there are 3 reasons for such an early sowing:
- Some plants have a long growing season. For example, clove Shabo. From the appearance of seedlings to flowering takes about 5, or even 6 months. Want to start blooming in June - sow in January. Or, say, if you sow the seeds of garden strawberries in January, then this year there is a chance to try the first berries.
- Some gardeners have a strong desire to get ahead of their neighbors and decorate their plot with flowering annuals in May. Sow petunia already in January, and your neighbors will clatter their tongues and wonder: why is it so early?
- Some even in winter cannot live without fresh herbs: celery, spinach, onions, watercress and others, someone raises this for sale - in winter demand is great.
Of course, you must understand that growing seedlings in January will require skill, space and technical investments (shelving, lighting, heating). But the result will please. If you feel that you can’t do it, then you should postpone it until February-March. The fact is that with such an early cultivation it is very important and difficult to maintain the right balance between temperature, lighting, watering and top dressing.
Read also our article Seedling calendar of decorative crops.
Since we are talking about seeds, the beginning of the year is the right time to start stratification of seeds. If you forgot, then in a nutshell: the seeds of many crops require a large period of time (from a month to 1.5 years) to sprout. But all this time the seeds should be spent in a humid environment, with air access and at low temperature.
Seeds, what crops? Many conifers (junipers, yew, cedar pines), all of our favorite fruit (apple, pear, plum, peach, cherry), oaks, maples and others. You can, of course, entrust everything to nature and just bury the seeds from the autumn in the garden (but there is a risk that little can be found in the spring). It’s better to do everything under control.
To do this, the seeds are soaked for a day in cold filtered water (spring, thawed). Then put in a plastic bag (container) with wet agroperlite, vermiculite, coconut substrate, paper towels, etc., placed on the lower shelf of the refrigerator at a temperature of + 4 ... +5 degrees and stored until April.
Do not forget to periodically get the seeds and check. If mold has appeared, treat with fungicide (peroxide diluted 1:10 with water will do). If dry, spray with water; if hatching, sow in containers. But, most importantly, do not forget to preliminarily study the plant that you are going to sow: does it need stratification, and if necessary, which one.
The beginning of the year is the right time to start stratifying the seeds.
Read more about stratification in article 6 of the rules for stratification of seeds at home.
Cutting and care of container crops in storage
By the way, in January you can start growing some plants not from seeds, but rooting cuttings. So you can quickly and for free get seedlings in large quantities, with a complete repetition of all varietal properties (as opposed to seed propagation). Do not think that it is simple. With some cultures, you can’t stand on ceremony (Fortune’s euonymus, karyopteris, capra’s honeysuckle, lavender and rosemary), and some will have to tinker with (spruce, thuja, juniper, yew).
Remember that in your basement not only potatoes, carrots and preserves with pickles are stored, but also container seedlings and other planting material. Despite the fact that they are waiting in the wings until spring, they cannot be left without control.
Seedlings in containers are sometimes, rarely and mildly, but watered, not allowing the drying of an earthen coma. Bulbs, tubers and roots should be inspected for drying and decay. The spoiled ones are best ruthlessly thrown away, and the slightly damaged ones should be cleaned and treated with a fungicide. Yes, I almost forgot, because in the basement there are sometimes stored cuttings for vaccination and rooting. The same thing - check if necessary - moisten or wipe and treat from mold.
You can view work calendars and other relevant materials on a special page in January.
Dear readers! On long January evenings, do not be too lazy to read something on the horticultural topic: about new plants, agricultural technology and preparations, tools and devices, and, I am not afraid of this word, about new ideologies of horticulture. There will always be work for a true gardener. Even in January! Happy holidays and less worries!