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January Gardening Tips by

Natural food sources are scarce at this time of year, therefore, now is the time to feed the birds in your landscape. Use suet cakes along with birdseed to provide protein and fat for the birds.
Water is also important for birds, so if you have a birdbath in your garden, be sure to use a de-icer to prevent the water from freezing when temperatures fall below 32 degrees.

Brush or sweep heavy snow off evergreens to prevent breakage.
January and February is the time to prune fruit and shade trees if necessary.

Now is a great time to apply cow manure and other organic soil conditioners to your garden. Apply 2" deep in vegetable gardens and let the nutrients soak into the soil.

If you have a water feature, be sure to check the pumps to make sure they are working properly. Larger pumps that move a lot of water typically will keep running throughout the winter without any problem, however, smaller pumps, will most likely freeze and should be turned off for the winter.

January and February are ideal months to lime the lawn if you have not done so in recent years. Lawns prefer a ph range of 6.2 - 6.8, which typically requires liming in our area. If needed, apply 50 lb. of lime per 1,000 square feet of lawn area. This will raise the ph 1/2 point. If you need to apply more lime, wait six weeks between applications.

Mist ferns and gardenias once a week during the winter months, particularly if your house is very dry.

The winter months are rest periods for houseplants so it is not necessary to feed them. Resume feeding houseplants in late February with a good quality indoor plant food.

Check the leaves of your houseplants for insect problems like scale, mites and mealy bugs. If you detect a problem, take a sample to a reputable garden center and one of their plant specialists will diagnose the problem and recommend the appropriate control. There are many ready-use spray products that contain Pyrethrins and/or Resmethrins, which are safe for indoor use.

Check houseplants that have leaves that are turning yellow and brown. Lower leaves that curl up and fall off may be too warm, too dry, or the plant may not be getting enough water. If you are uncertain, bring a sample to your local garden center.

For all of your gardening needs, check out Outdoor Decor and Gardener's Supply Co. and for all your bulb and seed orders, try Michigan Bulb Co.