Happy New Year!
And happy National Mailorder Gardening Month (at least according to the Direct Gardening Association, which offers great information on gardening by mail).
Check out the catalogs . . . That’s right. Those mail order catalogs – full of the latest dramatic flowers and fantastic foliage — should be filling up your mailbox any day now. So grab a cup of coffee – it’s time for a trip to Catalog Land.
Getting to these catalogs and ordering from them early is especially important if you want one of those hot, new introductions that’s in limited supply. And since this blog’s about easy-care gardening, you might also want to add to this year’s shopping list plants described as “low-maintenance,” “disease resistant,” “pest resistant,” “easy to grow,” “self-cleaning,” or ”drought tolerant.” There are also a few good, reputable online gardening catalogs including Willow Creek Gardens, so you may want to check them out too. Dave’s Garden and their Garden Watchdog site offers a lot of helpful information on mailorder gardening catalogs and companies as well.
Plan, dream…have fun! While you’re at it, now’s the time to sketch new garden layouts, plan additions or renovations and play with different plant combinations for your beds and container gardens. Just get out that stack of gardening magazines and 1/4-inch graph paper or your laptop.
Keep those houseplants alive . . . In addition to the houseplant care tips I provided in an earlier post, you’re going to want to think about increasing the humidity. “A lot of plants will benefit just from a misting – once a day, or once every other day,” says Dave Epstein, founder of GrowingWisdom, an online video website for homeowner-gardeners and landscape professionals. “It creates a miniature, more humid environment around it – kind of like a microclimate.”
Schedule tree service . . . . “If you have a tree that’s dead, this is a great time of year to have it removed,” says Epstein. “Contact an arborist, since this is a slow time of year for them. Plus, your ground is probably frozen, so they can bring big equipment onto your lawn without doing any damage.” Another reason to call them now is to set up a spring health maintenance program for your trees.
If you live in a warmer climate, check out the fantastic, region-specific “Gardening To Do List – January in the Garden” post by About.com gardening guide Marie Iannotti. And wherever you live, she adds, don’t forget to feed the birds and provide them with fresh, unfrozen water.