PRODUCTION

January Garden Tips with Mike Darcy


January 28, 2021

As I walk out into my garden on this early January day, I am thinking about what changes that I might make before spring and some miscellaneous garden tasks that need to be completed. A garden is really never ‘done’, there is always something to do and a new plant to be discovered.

January Garden Tips with Mike Darcy Blog

Here are some January tips:
· Feed the birds
· Pruning
· Check for Slug Damage
· Plant Some Color; Pansies & Primroses
· Plan & Prep for Spring

During the winter months especially, I like to encourage gardeners to feed the birds. So much of the natural habitat of birds has been destroyed that as gardeners, we can help by planting bird friendly plants that will give them food and shelter. We can also supplement their food and on a recent trip to Wilco, I did just that. I bought a supply of suet cakes and am pleasantly amazed at the assortment of birds that are attracted to these cakes. I also bought some cracked corn for those ground feeding birds.

Nature's Nuts Hi-Energy Suet

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Pennington Cedar Suet Station

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It is a delight to see new growth emerging in the January garden and my Hellebores are showing new flower buds that will soon be open.

January Garden Tips with Mike Darcy Blog

If you have not cut the old leaves from your Hellebores, now is the time to do it. Be careful when cutting the old leaves because it is easy to accidentally cut off a new leaf or flower bud. Check for slug damage because slugs like the tender new growth and once they damage a leaf or flower bud, that damage will be visible all season.

Sluggo Plus Slug & Snail Killer, 2.5 lb.

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With the generally mild weather we have had thus far, we could have a proliferation of slugs in the spring. Using a slug control now, can help keep the population down later in the season.

If you have plants under the eaves of your house, be sure they are getting adequate moisture. When we have winter rains and the ground is wet, it is easy to forget about these plants that are not getting the rain. They can easily become stressed for lack of water and then if we get a hard freeze, these plants will be more vulnerable and could be severely damaged.

For those gardeners with a wisteria, you are probably well aware of how fast this vigorous vine grows. This is an excellent time to do some heavy pruning. Cut back some of the heavier branches and thin out some of the smaller branches. Since this is a deciduous plant, it is much easier to prune now when there are no leaves on the branches rather than waiting for spring. Have a sharp pair of hand pruners, of which Wilco has an excellent assortment.

Zenport Classic Pruner, 1 in.

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Corona Compound Action Bypass Lopper, 28 in.

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And in some instances a pair of loppers may be necessary. We have a 40+ year old white wisteria and it constantly needs pruning. It continually amazes me as to how fast it grows and I think it would completely take over its space if we did not heavily prune it regularly.

Wilco now has blooming primrose plants for sale. Primrose are one of those plants that I think announce the beginning of a new garden year.

January Garden Tips with Mike Darcy Blog

With a vast array of colors available, these plants make an excellent potted plant by an entryway. We always have several pots of them in the front of our house and it is delightful to look out the window and see the color primrose provide. If a frost is predicted, give the plants some protection, even throwing a blanket over them can help,

Pansies are now available and these will also provide early spring color.

January Garden Tips with Mike Darcy Blog

Pansies, like primroses, are excellent in containers. If you have any daffodil or tulip bulbs that you forgot to plant, put them in a container 4-5 inches below the pansies and in the late spring, they will appear in amongst the pansies. Slugs love both primrose and pansies, so take appropriate control at time of planting.
January is a good month for planning and getting ready for the spring season. A good start would be with some blooming primroses. Also, be alert to the current weather conditions and if you have some tender or marginally winter hardy plants, be prepared to give them some protection.

Stroll through your garden and think about what new plants you can add. Remember, there is always room for one more plant.

Nature's Nuts Wild Berry Suet

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We would love to see your garden projects, use #mywilcolife on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tag Wilco Stores.


MIKE’S GARDEN IS LOCATED IN OREGON’S WILLAMETTE VALLEY AND HIS ADVICE IS CONSISTENT WITH THE MILD CLIMATE THERE.
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