When January rolls around, what can we do to improve our garden? Now is a great time to update your irrigation system, plant bare fruit trees, leafy greens, and essential culinary herbs. During this month, we want to focus on the root systems of our pre-existing trees and shrubs. Black spot and White powdery mildew can become a problem, which can engulf an entire tree or shrub if not tended to promptly. I have included a safe, organic recipe below:
Baking Soda Fungicide*
Treat black spot or white powdery mildew organically.
1 Gallon of water
1 1/3 Tablespoons of Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon of Mild Soap (make sure there are no phosphates in soap, ex. liquid Dove, Ivory)
Mix all ingredients in a 1 gallon sprayer, make sure all contents are mixed thoroughly before spraying.
What can I plant in January?
There are plenty of colorful, resourceful plants and trees to choose from if you’re looking for additions to your garden:
Vegetables: Artichoke crowns, Asian Greens, Asparagus crowns, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collards, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustard, Onion sets, Spinach.
Fruits: Apples, Blackberries, Dewberries, Figs, Grapes, Peaches, Pears, Pecans, Persimmons, Pomegranates, Raspberries and Strawberries.
Herbs: Calendula, Chervil, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Parsley, Echinacea, Feverfew, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Sorrel, Thyme.
Annuals: Bluebonnets, Delphinium, Dianthus, Larkspur, Ornamental Cabbage and Kale, Pansies, Poppies, Snapdragons, Stock, Sweet Alyssum, Violas.
Test and repair your irrigation system, winter is the best time to install an efficient drip irrigation system!
Plant hardy shrubs, groundcovers and vines now, an early start for these plants will give them time to flourish come summertime.
Plant trees! While the top half of your trees are resting over winter, their roots are working hard, reaching their peak time of growth, making trees easier to transplant and root successfully.
2 Products recommended for the month:
Mycorrhizal Fungi – Apply this product when replanting or adding a garden bed. This fungi will promote a healthy root system, improving plant growth and nutrient consumption.
Nutri Root – This is a great product to use when planting anything from annuals to trees, this low content fertilizer is an organic stimulate containing moisture manager. Adding this to water will promote new transplants to root quickly, retain moisture, and give the plant a lush appearance. Water less using this product.
All plant life requires only 17 essential elements to survive. Your soil is fit for gardening when these elements are present:
Essential minerals elements: Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, boron, chlorine, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, molybdenum, and nickel.
Essential nonmineral elements: Hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon.
Don’t let the winter blues get to you this January, put your gloves on and get out there!
*The Natural Gardener
-resident plant specialist, Megan Elwood