January is the perfect time to relax and reflect on the future of your gardens and plan some changes and additions you might want to make during the upcoming gardening season. Sit down with some good books to help you "dream and scheme"! The Viette's have written many great gardening books to help you choose just the right plants for your special situations, plus learn how to create the perfect "below-ground" environment for your plants so they will start the season off on healthy "footing". Their newest book, Mid-Atlantic Getting Started Garden Guide, shares the authors' many years of gardening experience to help you choose the best plants for your garden and teach you how to keep them healthy.
When the "January thaw" comes, take some time to wander through your gardens. Look for places that could use some winter interest or "garden bones" as they say - perhaps a small ornamental tree or shrub with colorful bark like crape myrtle or red osier dogwood.
The seed catalogs ought be be rolling in about now. This is a great time to begin planning the best vegetable garden ever. The delicious, wholesome crops you produce will lead to healthier eating habits and tending a vegetable garden, whatever the size, is great exercise. Plus, home-grown vegetables tend be of high quality and have fantastic flavor when fresh picked.
There are some really exciting new varieties of vegetables available now but in most cases you will only find these new and different vegetable seeds in catalogs or online.
Watch Mark's "video tips" on vegetable garden planning.
When you take down your Christmas tree and greens, don't put them out in the trash, create a place for the birds to hide between foraging trips to your feeders. Set the tree near your feeders and birds will use it for cover throughout the winter. You can place the tree on its side or prop it upright. You will be amazed at how many birds will take shelter in the branches. Even stacking pine boughs in a pile near the feeders will create a wonderful safe haven for your feathered friends. For a real bird treat, decorate the tree with delicious (to birds!) peanut butter pine cones and other "yummy" bird treats.