January Gardening Checklist

By thewriteDuffy •  Updated: 06/07/24 •  5 min read

Gardening, in January? Absolutely.

There are still lots of things you can plant, and you can start the new year on the right foot by doing timeless chores that will add to your garden’s health as spring approaches.

Everything you accomplish now will make spring that much sweeter.

Trees and Shrubs

This month’s tree and shrub tasks are all about planting, pruning and protecting.

Winterizing

With winter in full force, there are several things you can do to protect challenged plants, trees, shrubs and even birds.

Don’t haul that Christmas tree out to the curb just yet: Its branches can be used to protect tender plants and even root vegetables and perennials or to form a wind or sun shield for shrubs such as azaleas, rhododendrons, holly and boxwood. Or the full tree can be staked near a feeder to shield birds from cold. (Place far enough away to avoid accidents with cats.)

If you live in an area that has heavy winters and you haven’t yet wrapped newly planted trees or thin-barked trees such as maple, ash, mountain ash and linden, do so now. Wrap from the base upward to repel moisture.

Keep protecting tender plants against freezes by covering them with burlap or other cloth supported by a perimeter of stakes; just don’t let the cloth touch the leafy parts.

Houseplants

Winter houseplant care is more about attentive restraint than high maintenance.

Little Live Things

Wouldn’t it be nice if birds ate slugs for a living? If you’re a feeder of birds, don’t stop now — during this month they’ll need all the help they can get, and it needn’t be fancy. Birds will likely find any station above snow level, from old logs to carpet scraps.

Every slug you catch before it reproduces can spare you from facing several more generations. (And you thought rabbits were prolific.)

Maintenance

Take this chance to get sleek for spring. No, not to buff up for your getaway swimwear — you know, the fun stuff. Machines. Tools.

Perennials

Even after the holidays, the catalog season continues.

Weeding

It’s a nasty job, but unless your garden is buried under snow or frozen, somebody has to do it. Too bad weeds don’t take winter vacations.

Almost February? Just Want to Keep Going?

Don’t worry, we’ve got a fresh checklist for you for February too, jump over to our February Gardening Checklist now!

thewriteDuffy

At home, April is a mom, wife, and DIY darling. Among other home projects, she helped her husband Dan renovate their 1986 bungalow and is currently designing and decorating the 2023 custom home they are building themselves. Professionally, April is a writer, author, and online marketer with 15 years of experience writing for newspapers and magazines, building online authority websites, and publishing books.