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gardening tips

Each month we remind you what to do, what to plant, and how to enjoy your central east coast Florida garden…

what to do in your garden in January

Pay attention to weather reports and know what to do if winter decides to pay us a visit. In case of a freeze warning, water your plants ahead of time (don’t let sprinklers run during the freeze), and have sheets and blankets ready to cover your tender plants. See more information in “Preparing for the Cooler Months.”

This is a good time to prune dormant and cold-hardy trees and shrubs; dormant fruit such as grape vines, apples, peaches, and blueberries; and roses if you haven’t pruned them yet. Cut off no more than one-third of the branches, and when pruning crape myrtles, be sure to remove all of the seed pods.

Sow Ryegrass (at the rate of 10 lbs per 1000 sq. ft.) to fill in bare spots or to green up a dull lawn. The seed will germinate in 7 to 10 days and will stay green until the hot weather returns in May or June.

If you need to transplant a deciduous tree or shrub, January is a good month to do it. Dig a good-sized root ball and be sure that the new location has light and water conditions similar to those in the old spot. Use Bio-tone to help promote new root growth.

Give your houseplants a “shower” to remove the dust that can clog leaf pores. Wipe them with a clean damp cloth or rinse them in the shower or sink with a spray head. This allows the plants to keep your air cleaner (and makes them look good too!).

Rid citrus trees of dormant pests with a triple spray of All Seasons Oil. Because of the citrus disease devastating Florida, it is important to treat your citrus EVERY 2 weeks with a mix of Genysis, Captain Jack’s and Micronutrients

Many birds are heading south this time of year; remember to feed them and to keep a source of water available.

Vegetables and herbs to plant now include beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, dill, fennel, kale, lettuce, marjoram, mint, oregano, peas and radishes, sage, spinach, and thyme.

Arbor Day is January 19—Consider planting a tree! Trees keep the air clean, provide shelter for birds and animals, add value and beauty to your home, and help reduce your electric bills.

January Spotlight

Flowers to plant now include alyssum, flowering cabbage and kale, lobelia, pansies, petunias, snapdragons, stock, and violas (above).