Ideas for gardening in January

Happy New Year! January may seem like a downtime in the landscape and garden. But there are many jobs to perform this month to get the landscape and garden off to a good start for a new year.

In today’s article, I’ll share some gardening ideas from the UF/IFAS Extension North Florida Gardening Calendar (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep451) for the month of January.

Cool-season annuals that can provide color through the winter and into early spring include pansy, viola, petunia and snapdragon. See Annuals: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_annual_landscape_plants

Select and plant camellia this month. Visit local nurseries now for the best selection of colors and forms. See Camellias: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_camellia

In the vegetable garden, Irish potatoes can be planted now. Start with healthy seed pieces purchased from a local nursery or online seed catalog. Continue planting cool-season crops, including broccoli, kale, carrots, and lettuce. See Vegetable Gardening in Florida: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_vegetable_gardening

Plant deciduous fruit trees now to give their roots time to develop before the warm, dry spring months. Prune and fertilize existing trees. See Temperate Fruit for the Home Landscape: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_home_temperate_fruit

Be ready to cover tender plants to minimize damage. Frost or freezes are likely this month and next. See Cold Protection and Chilling Damage of Landscape Plants: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_landscapes_and_cold

Water plants if temperatures remain higher than normal and rainfall is scarce. See Landscape Irrigation: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_landscape_irrigation

Prune non-spring flowering shrubs and trees this month to improve form. See Pruning Landscape Trees and Shrubs: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_tree_pruning

Celebrate Florida Arbor Day (the third Friday of January) by planting a tree in your yard or community. Consider a hurricane-resistant tree, such as live oak, bald cypress, cabbage palm or crapemyrtle. See Arbor Day in Florida: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_arbor_day

On crapemyrtle, remove seed pods, crossing branches and small twiggy growth to improve appearance and form of the plant, if desired. Hard pruning is not required. See Crapemyrtle: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_crapemyrtle and Pruning Crapemyrlte: http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/care/pruning/pruning-crapemyrtles.html

Control persistent scale insects on citrus, shrubs, camellias and deciduous fruit trees; apply horticultural oil while plants are dormant. See Landscape Pest Management: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_landscape_pests

So you see there is much to do during January in our gardens and landscapes here in North Florida. And remember that the UF/IFAS Extension Office in your County can help you with reliable gardening information during this New Year.

Click on your County on the below link to open the website for your County UF/IFAS Extension Office. http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/map/index.shtml

Other Extension topics available from the Extension Office in your County include agriculture, family and consumer info, sustainable living and 4-H youth.

Larry Williams, UF/IFAS Extension Office, Okaloosa County, December 28, 2016

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