Unsure of what your landscape needs from you this month? There are still plenty of ways to keep busy in your yard over these first weeks of the New Year. Here is a short landscape to-do list which will ensure a beautiful property throughout the rest of 2021.
Prune: January is an excellent time here in South Florida to prune woody shrubs and trees that don’t flower in the spring. Pruning during winter can be greatly beneficial, because it decreases the chance of your plants being suffering from diseases or being attacked by pests while the wounds are fresh. It encourages better, thicker growth when the branches start growing back come springtime. Pruning now gives you a chance to remove broken or dying branches so that your plants can focus all their energy on healthy branches.
Protect: This is the coolest month of the year on average for us, so bring sensitive plants like orchids inside overnight – especially if a rare frost is predicted! Invest in a couple frost blankets to use on your landscape if you’re particularly worried about your plants. This one item on your landscape to-do list can save many of your plants, flowers and shrubs for the next several weeks,
Water (Carefully): Our winter months tend to be dry, and some popular turfgrass species that prefer hot weather (such as Bermuda or Bahia) may start to suffer. While some browning is natural, water when the blades start breaking when folded or when the grass doesn’t spring back after you step on it. Even though it’s dry during the winter, there is also significantly less evaporation–you have to be careful when watering your lawn, since the water will sit on the blades longer and increases the possibility of fungus growing. Water in the morning so that the water has a chance to dry before the sun sets.
Plant: Did you know that Florida’s statewide Arbor Day is in January? Celebrate by giving the trees in your landscape some extra attention, or planting a couple new ones around your home or neighborhood. This month is an excellent time to plant woody shrubs in particular– just be sure to water them well once planted so that their roots aren’t shocked by the dry soil.
Garden: Take advantage of winter crops while you still can. Though it’s hard to believe, our coldest weather is quickly coming to an end. Now is your last chance to plant winter brassicas like beets, broccoli, kale, cauliflower and turnips into your garden.
More of an herb fan? Hardy herbs like dill, thyme, mint, and fennel enjoy and even thrive in our January temperatures, so now is a great time to grow and harvest them in window boxes or raised beds. Just be sure to cover the soil with frost blankets if a cold snap is predicted.
Prepare: Get those spring bulbs in the ground! Lilies, canna, amaryllis and crinum are beautiful spring bloomers that can be planted this month. They are easy to plant and thus make a great activity to do with your kids. Their showy flowers are wonderful for lining pathways and garden beds, or for highlighting specific areas of your landscape.
Prevent: Applying neem, jojoba, or other horticultural oils at this time can help protect fruit trees and flowering shrubs from insect pests such as scale. The oils work in different ways–some cause adults to lose their appetite, some disrupt the development of larva, and others coat the insects, preventing them from properly breathing or metabolizing.
This landscape to-do list is easy and fun, and will guarantee a thriving lawn and garden this spring and summer. If you need fertilizer, garden tools, or some expert advice – stop into one of the 4 area Big Earth Landscape supply locations. Would you rather stay home? Be sure to check out our online shop.