January may not be the time in which gardening is at the forefront of your mind, but here in Portland where the winter is albeit wet but warmer than other portions of the country, there is certainly time to get outside and tend to the landscape and gardens. In addition to simply feeling good about being outside, there are a number of garden chores and activities to be performed in the garden between fall and spring.
Below I have listed my Top Six things to do in the garden during the winter months.
6. Cleanup: If the fall cleanup got overlooked and there are still leaves to be raked, perennials to be cut back and remnants of the summer before taking homage in your yard there is no better time than the present to get things tidied up. Cleaning up the garden during the dead of winter will make the spring cleanup a cinch and allow you more time to plant and do fun things when spring arrives and the temperatures rise and sun shines.
5. Prune: Winter is an ideal time to prune most trees and shrubs. Pruning in the winter when plants are dormant is ideal. The act of pruning can stress trees and shrubs if done when the temperatures are warm and the plants are using their energy to produce leaves, fruit or flowers. Additionally it’s often easier to get into hard to reach places within the plants after the leaves have fallen. Not to mention winter allows you the ability to see the shape of trees and shrubs by viewing its bare form.
4. Cut Back Ornamental Grass: Many types of ornamental grass, including various Miscanthus or Feather Reed Grass maintain the integrity of their shape well into the winter. However by late January or early February it’s best to cut these plants down to 6” or so from the ground. This will make your winter landscape look a bit cleaner. Additionally, by mid to late February you will begin to see new growth emerge from grasses such as Feather Reed Grass. Watching some green growth is sure to give you hope that spring is just around the corner.
3. Sharpen Tools: When the temperatures do rise and the New Year offers its first glimpse of the gardening season to come you want to be prepared. Winter is a great time to sharpen planting spades and pruning tools. You don’t want to be fiddling with this chore in the spring when you could be getting work done in the garden.
2. Relocate Perennials, Small Trees and Shrubs: Just like pruning is best done during a time of dormancy, moving perennials, small trees and shrubs is also best done during the winter. It’s an ideal opportunity to relocate some of your favorite plants. When spring arrives so will they!
1. Garden Design: The winter months are ideal to plan the coming growing season’s landscape and gardens. Let your imagination flow and warm you with thoughts of new plants, patios and areas to entertain. Getting this taken care of when there is a nip to the air will allow you to enjoy your creation when the weather has warmed!If your days are full and time is of the essence allow Wheel & Barrow Landscape Design & Maintenance to assist you with all or some of these garden tasks. Let’s make you the envy of all your neighbors!