January Garden and Yard Chore Checklist

January garden and yard chore checklist for homeowners looking for a nearby plant nursery or garden center.

Written by David S.

January remains one of the most active months for gardens and landscaping. We are in the height of the bare-root season, and many other types of plants, such as succulents and aloes are ready to go. Keep reading as we go through the list of opportunities and chores for a beautiful Southern California yard. 

Why plant in January?
Southern California in January is very much like March and April in other parts of the state. It is cool, but not freezing (usually.) Many plants, like succulents and bare-root trees and shrubs, take full advantage of the warmer winter here to put down roots that help them to survive the warm
and hot Southern California summers. Be sure to browse the:

  • Succulents 
  • Aloes
  • Bare-root Fruit trees, including citrus
  • Dormant Roses
  • Garden Vegetables and bulbs such as onions and garlic.

Any of these plant types are excellent options to add to your yard or garden during January, and February. An excellent place to start is with a garden or landscape plan. Include fundamentals such as drip irrigation and plan in expansions so that adding to your landscape is easy. Our garden experts can point you to all of the tools and supplies needed for each garden
project, and they will helpfully answer your questions too. 

Tend the Herbs 
January is an ideal time to add new herbs to your garden and to prune back the ones you have. Rosemary is a good example. For soft-stemmed herbs like oregano, trim back using garden scissors. I gently gather up the entire plant in my hand at the base, so that all the stems are in my hand. Then I cut at the top of my fist so what is left is the plant in my hand. This method is good for oregano, marjoram, and thyme. For sages, never cut back more than 1/3 of the plant, or it might die. I tend to prune sages throughout the year by taking small cuts rather than giving the plant a hearty pruning. 

Now is an excellent time to plant cilantro, parsley, arugula, and mustards. 

Prune the Butterfly Bush and Raspberries 
Both need pruning, and in the case of raspberries, you need to prune off the canes that have already fruited. Each year raspberry plants produce new canes for this year’s fruit. The old canes need to go to make room. In the case of the butterfly bush, the blooms appear only on new growth. By pruning back the old growth and limbs that have already flowered, you prompt the plant to increase the number of blossoms, and that is a beautiful thing. 

Not all shrubs get pruned in the winter months. Some need to be selectively pruned at other times of the year. Talk with our garden experts about your shrubs and when they need pruning. While you’re in the nursery, be sure to shop the pruning tools as the proper tool makes the job a lot easier. Also, keep in mind that gift certificates are usable all year long and make beautiful gifts. 

Amend the Soil in Pots 
January and February are prime months to add soil to containers. Doing so now, allows the soil to regenerate, especially with microorganisms. The time between dormancy and new growth enables the microorganism populations to regenerate. Be sure to pull weeds that may be growing in pots, too, as they rob the soil of nutrients intended for your plants. 

An excellent overall container soil is FoxFarm Ocean and Forest Potting soil. If you love succulents, try Cactus Mix. BlackGold is another excellent option for containers. We offer many wonderful products from generalized usage to soil for specialty plants, such as E.B.Stone Recipe 420. 

Seed Options for Early Spring Blooms 
One of the best seed options is for California Poppies. They bloom early, and their brilliant gold coloring makes them a knockout in large beads or just scattered around the yard. Sweat Peas are another excellent seed to sow in January. These climbers produce an abundant amount of blooms that should start appearing by March. A good tip for sweet peas is to use a 1-3 gallon pot with a tall trellis. They will take over the lattice and become a centerpiece in a garden. 

Many flower seeds are available for planting in January. Please come into one of our nurseries and browse the vast selection of flower seeds.  If you are looking for a particular plant or product, give us a call. We are happy to check our inventory or order it for you.  We encourage you to stop by one of our five Southern California locations to browse the selections or chat with our garden experts. Keep in mind that our inventory changes daily, and plants and products may be out of stock.


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