January is “getting ready” time for a rewarding spring — not only for dreaming and
planning for spring, but for actually planting and preparing plants for a new year and a new season. The beauty and production of each season in your landscape depends on previous month’s planning and accomplishments.
Planting and Transplanting. The winter season provides an excellent time to plant or
transplant major trees and shrubs. The plants are quick to adapt when planted in cold,
moist weather and will be well established prior to spring growth and prior to summer
heat. Select new plants wisely, being sure they satisfy a definite landscape need. Do
not over plant or choose plants which are not adaptable.
Winter Pruning. Prune all evergreens and summer-flowering shrubs and trees in
needed. Do not prune spring bloomers such as azaleas and quince, as you will be
removing potential spring blooms.
a. Hydrangea – Do not winter prune as their flower buds are established for next
season’s bloom. Prune immediately after prime bloom in early summer.
b. Roses – Prune bush-type roses in mid to late February just prior to spring growth.
c. Hollies and other berrying plants – Prune now, but remember hollies and other
berrying-type plants such as pyracantha, produce berries on two-year-old wood;
thus, if the gardener removes current or new growth, he also eliminates future
Plant Fruit & Nut Trees – Plant the correct variety.
Plant Roses – Choose a sunny, open area exposed to morning sun. Plant in a well
prepared, raised bed.
Cultivate vegetable garden areas to expose weeds and grass roots to winter cold, thus
reducing weed and grass population come spring. Be prepared for a mid-February
Prepare to pant cool season annuals in February – some of these include balsam,
calendula, hollyhocks, coneflower, California poppy, annual phlox, and larkspur.
Fertilize established pansy plantings – Keep blooms picked to encourage more
Prepare to plant gladiolus and dahlia in February.
Provide winter protection for tender plants with a heavy mulch, temporary wrapping
and being sure the plant has sufficient water prior to serious freezing.
Make cuttings of English ivy, establish groundcover beds of ivy during January and
February prior to spring growth.
Give hydrangeas a dose of aluminum sulphate to turn blooms blue, or lime to deepen
Rake over-thatched lawn grasses to remove winter-killed grass and to open and aerate
Prepare soils for spring planting. Add generous amounts of organic material such as
peatmoss, leaf mold or compost to insure good drainage, water retention and aeration.
Remove bagworm bags from junipers to prevent an increase of the insect.
Evaluate winter damage – don’t be too anxious to destroy winter damaged plants. Even
though foliage may be damaged, releafing may occur come spring. Stem areas may be
damaged, yet the plant may respond from the root system, best wait until early spring
to prune or eliminate. Some cold damage may not be obvious until summer stress.