Garden Checklist: January


Warm Season Grasses – Bermuda and Zoysia 

January – Late March: Cut grass very low to about 2 inches high and bag the clippings to help bring turf out of dormancy. Apply a pre-emergent in mid-February to control the annual spring weeds. Re-apply the pre-emergent in 8-10 weeks. 


  • Start stratifying perennial seeds that need this treatment. 
  • Late plantings of spring flowering bulbs. For example, Dutch bulbs will flower if planted now. 
  • Check stored bulbs and discard rotten ones. Reminder: If keeping bulbs year to year that can’t remain in the ground, they should be stored in a dark, dry location in a paper bag.   
  • Make indoor bulb plantings for decoration, such as amaryllis. 
  • Plant roses. Consider old-fashioned and disease-tolerant cultivars. 
  • Leave stalks and hollow stems for overwintering beneficial insects. If you must clean up leaves, try to find a location in a bed where they can mulch down instead of bagging and removing them. This is where many pollinators and fireflies overwinter. 

Shrubs and Trees 

  • Plant shrubs and trees. 
  • Prune damaged, diseased, or rubbing branches.   

Fruits and vegetables 

  • Make plans for the coming season’s garden. Rotate your crops to result in the healthiest produce yield. Make sure their new location still matches the sun exposure needed for success.    
  • Start seed crops indoors for late winter planting. 
  • If growing cover crops, mow over or turn late this month. 


  • Be careful not to overwater indoor houseplants as water needs are typically lower this time of year, even indoors.  
  • Interested in growing plants further? Look into building structures such as cold frames…Start carpentry projects like cold frames, trellises, and indoor lighting set-ups if desired. Sometimes smaller is better and you may in return get fewer weeds and insects with more produce. 
  • If interested in growing from seed, collect all of your seed starting materials together so you’ll be ready to go. You will need lights, heat mats, a sterile potting medium, and your preferred pot type. Purchase any seeds needed that weren’t saved from the previous season. 
  • Wash and sterilize seed-starting containers. 
  • Check all house plants closely for insect infestations. 
  • If you aren’t a carpenter, now is a good time to try a straw bale cold-frame 

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