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January: Keep winter hazards away from plants
Yard & Garden Calendar
By Rosie Lerner
Consumer Horticulturist
Purdue Extension

(Indoor plants and activities)
Keep holiday poinsettias and other plants near a bright window. Water as top of soil becomes dry.

Increase humidity around houseplants by grouping plants together, placing them on a pebble-water tray or running a humidifier.

Check stored produce and tender flower bulbs and roots for rot, shriveling or excess moisture. Remove and discard damaged material.

Repot houseplants as they outgrow current pots.

(Lawns, woody ornamentals and fruits)
Check young trees for rodent injury on lower trunks. Prevent injury with hardware cloth or protective collars.

Keep road and sidewalk salt away from plants. Construct a screen of burlap, if necessary, to keep salt spray off plants.

“Leaf” through nursery catalogs and make plans for landscape and orchard additions. Order plants early for best selection.

Early spring-flowering trees and shrubs, such as forsythia, crabapple, flowering quince, flowering dogwood and honeysuckle, can be forced for early indoor blooms by placing cut branches in water in a warm location.

(Flowers, vegetables and small fruits)
Send for seed catalogs for the garden.

Sketch your garden plans on paper, including what to grow, spacing, arrangement and number of plants needed.

Order seeds and plants as early as possible for best selection.

Wood ashes from the fireplace can be spread in the garden, but don’t overdo it. Wood ashes increase soil pH, and excess application can make some nutrients unavailable for plant uptake.

Have soil tested to be certain of the pH before adding wood ash.

Published in the January 4, 2006 issue of Farm World.