January is supposed to be a time of renewal and an opportunity to be energized by new commitments to exercise, diet and a host of other well-intentioned ventures. But honestly, everyone I know is just plain exhausted and still recovering from all the chaos of Christmas. Even the most enthusiastic of gardeners can feel the need to enjoy the down season before Spring arrives with all its happy obligations. But for those keeners eager to get going, this list is a good place to start to put the rest of us to shame.
-take note of all the areas of standing water in your yard and garden and plan how to improve drainage. Sounds like a party, I know, but I for one really need to do this.
-in theory, direct sow seeds of peas, broad beans, watercress, dill, beets, radishes, carrots, parsley, bok choy, etc. I’m still waiting for that “coldest winter in 20 years” to show up and will be delaying that for at least a month or so.
-prune vines, bushes and fruit trees; always a good stress relief but to be avoided if feeling particularly frustrated, lest you over do it. As you may remember, my fruit trees still look like some tall sticks in a pot, so I’m not even going to bother this year.
-start some seeds indoors, such as tomatoes, eggplant and peppers.
-and as always, we could all be spreading out compost, spreading mulch around plants and using row cover when the temperature dips (although in the interest of full disclosure I should say that I have been exceedingly lazy in this regard).
-and of course you can continue to harvest any root vegetables or brussel sprouts sweetened by frost and whatever cold hardy lettuce, swiss chard and kale still in the garden.