GARDENER’S CHECKLIST: Week of January 5, 2023

Use Christmas tree branches as mulch for fall planted perennials to keep the plants from lifting off the ground during the freeze/thaw cycle.

Editor’s Note: This article was previously published in 2021 and is reprinted here with updates from the author.

* Place the cut branches from an abandoned Christmas tree on top of the perennials you planted last fall. Do this on days when the ground is frozen. Due to the uneven snowfall and relatively mild climate this winter, the soil is repeatedly freezing and thawing. These cycles can push the plant out of the ground and expose its roots to lethal temperatures. Of course, one abandoned Christmas tree isn’t enough. As such, you may need to scout your neighborhood for other abandoned specimens.

* Visit your local garden center or nursery for post-holiday sales. This is a good time to find bargains in houseplants and soft bulbs (such as amaryllis and paperwhite daffodils) as well as many hard goods forcibly.

That smell emanating from your basement may not be old sneakers. Check stored winter squash and squash for evidence of rotting fruit.

* Don’t trust old vegetable and flower seeds. buy new seeds Buy old seeds for viability and decide whether to buy packaged fresh seeds As mentioned in the previous column, a simple way to test viability is to place a sample of 10 seeds from each old packet on a damp paper towel. Place the sheets in a ziplock bag and place in a warm place. After 1 week and 2 weeks, check the seeds and calculate the germination rate.Low rate If it’s over 50%, discard the seeds and buy fresh.

* Follow that smell emanating from the basement, or wherever that pumpkin is and winter squash are stored. Unless housed in ideal conditions for 50-60 Pumpkins and winter squash cannot be stored at 50-75% relative humidity. much longer than a few months. Under the best conditions, Four months. Discard anything that is corrupt.

* Look for burns on the tip of the spider’s leaf.leaf tip browning About this plant is a good sign that you need to take care of your plants. evaluated. He is one of the first plants to respond to an unmanicured environment.chip burn can Indicates insufficient watering, low humidity, or salt build-up Potting soil due to over-fertilization. If the latter is a problem, repot the plant into fresh potting mix.

Brown leaf tips on spiders are a sign of salt build-up due to lack of water, low humidity, or over-fertilization.

* Flip the calendar to the summer months and exclude some dates Visit to the botanical garden and arboretum.Such public and private gardens This area contains hardy plants.These plants are usually Integrated into well-designed landscapes that provide ideas and inspiration home gardener.


I promise to start with seeds for vegetables and flowers this year. Sure, it’s time consuming and requires special equipment in terms of sterile seed starting media, seedling flats, heating cables, and supplemental lighting. You can also grow varieties that you can’t find as seedlings or finished products in retail nurseries or garden centers.

seed catalog
Seed catalogs with pretty pictures of plants can encourage you to buy more seeds than you need. Be smart and make a list of your needs before ordering.

One piece of advice I have for anyone planning to start their own plants from seed is to compile a plant list before perusing a seed catalog. We tend to base our lists on beautiful photos and exaggerated descriptions of plants rather than their sex. Practice your limits. The sheer volume of unopened seed packets I have collected over the past few years has qualified me to offer such recommendations.

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