January is a great month to sit back and evaluate and plan your garden, increase your gardening knowledge through books and catalogs and get organized for spring planting. But there are also gardening chores to tackle.
The gardening “to do” list includes:
• An herbicide containing glyphosate can be used on dormant bermudagrass lawns in January or February when temperatures are above 50 degrees for winter weed control. Make sure your bermuda lawn is completely dormant or you will damage it.
• January through February is a good time of year to move plants from one location in the landscape to another. Water and mulch transplants well.
• Water trees as needed but let the soil dry down somewhat between irrigation. Waterlogged soils kill many trees.
• Vegetable gardens need to be cleaned up if you haven’t done so. Winter cleanup reduces insect and disease pressure for the coming growing season. However, do not compost this waste since compost piles may not get hot enough to kill harmful pathogens.
• Asparagus stalks can be cut back and beds need a new 2- to 3-inch layer of compost.
• Till garden plots without a cover crop to expose overwintering insects. Do not till when soil moisture is high causing clods to form. Incorporate compost, animal manures, etc., at the same time to garden plots needing organic matter.
• Remove and destroy bagworm bags from shrubs infested this past summer to reduce or eliminate problems this summer.
• Winter months are an ideal time to submit soil samples to our office. The accuracy of the soil test is a reflection of the sample taken. Be sure the sample is representative of the area to be treated. As a general rule pull soil from 15-20 random spots of area to be tested at a depth of four to six inches. Mix these samples together and submit a pint of soil for testing. You are not limited to the number of samples submitted. Test results will be returned to you within two to three weeks of being submitted.
• This is a good time of year to cut poison ivy vines from trees at the ground level and paint the cut end with full strength Brush-B-Gon or glyphosate. Handle vines with plastic gloves and wash up thoroughly to avoid itching results.
• Avoid the temptation to fertilize houseplants during the winter months unless they are under grow lights.
• Mulch strawberry beds now with straw. Keep the straw off the crowns.
Jayson McGaugh is the Sebastian County Cooperative Extension agent. Have questions about lawn, garden or other horticulture related issues? The Sebastian County Extension Service can help. The office is located at 6700 Mahogany Ave., Barling. Call (479) 484-7737 for answers to horticulture questions.
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