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UConn Extension Service: January Gardening Tips

By UConn Extension Service.

  1. January is a good time to browse through garden catalogs and get orders submitted for spring gardening. In 2020 and 2021 many seeds were sold out early.
  2. Make sure any stored bulbs, corms, or tubers are not rotting or too dry. Discard rotted ones and lightly mist shriveled ones.
  3. Prune most stone fruit trees
  4. Check all house plants closely for insect infestations. Quarantine gift plants until you determine that they are not harboring any pests. Inspect under leaves for infestations of whitefly and spider mites; check between leaves and stems for white, cottony mealybugs, and look under leaves and on stems for scale insects. Apply insecticidal soap or another  low toxicity insecticide, crush insects or brush off as appropriate.
  5. When planning your vegetable garden, remember to rotate crops.
  6. Inspect trees and shrubs for bark damage. If found, likely voles, rabbits or deer may be the culprits. Spray with an appropriate deterrent or place material such as wire mesh or bird netting to exclude browsing animals until spring.
  7. If weather is dry and soil is not frozen, water evergreens like rhododendrons.
  8. Keep foot traffic to a minimum on dormant lawns to prevent damage to crowns.
  9. Keep birdbaths full- remove ice and refill as needed.
  10. Clean crusty pots by soaking them in vinegar for a few hours. Heavily crusted pots might require additional scrubbing with steel wool. Rinse thoroughly and then to sterilize, dip in a 1:10 bleach to water solution for a few minutes. Rinse and dry.

For more January gardening tips, see information on our fact sheet.

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