January may have gardeners itchySome January days have been cold but others balmy and bright, showing glimpses of spring ahead. Even though winter is here, gardeners can do things to satisfy their green thumb.
By: Rebecca Rudolph, The Republican Eagle
Some January days have been cold but others balmy and bright, showing glimpses of spring ahead. Even though winter is here, gardeners can do things to satisfy their green thumb.
One of these things is pruning dormant trees. Fruit trees and some shrubbery are good candidates for this, but “not every variety of plant can be pruned this time of year,” said Dave Lewis, garden center manager and part owner of Sargent’s Nursery.
Evergreen trees should be avoided along with other trees that have their buds set already, said Bob Jacobus, Goodhue County Master Gardener.
Another thing gardeners can start planning what they want to plant. Tools for planning can include gardening books, reputable online articles and reviews of plants. People also can turn to the master gardeners or nursery professionals.
Things to keep in mind when planning a garden is the type of garden wanted. This could be anything from a vegetable garden to flower garden, from a strawberry patch or to rows of corn.
Consider climate, too: Plants native to southern states may not survive the harsh Minnesota winters.
This also can be a time of planning for new structures in gardens although not the time for installation, Lewis said. Instead, he suggested people contact the businesses they would want help from and start developing ideas.
Both Lewis and Jacobus urge gardeners to wait until April to start planting seeds in their houses under the heat lamps. This will prevent the plants from getting out of hand or being too big to transplant later into the outdoor garden.
Jacobus said that even though he does not know what he would consider a normal year anymore, that it is still a good idea to wait until April to start working within the gardens.
“Patience is a virtue,” Lewis agreed. “Minnesota winters can be fickle, and if you start to early you can be burned.”
Lewis suggested if gardeners wanted a taste of spring in their homes, to purchase a flowering bulb and raise it indoors.
January by the numbers
High: 45 degrees Jan. 19
Low: minus 9 degrees Jan. 22 and 31
Average daily high: 25.5 degrees
Average daily low: 8 degrees
Precipitation: .13 inches total
Source: U.S. Lock & Dam No. 3, Red Wing Waste Water Treatment Plant