January Gardening Guide For Southern California

January and winter may be the end of gardening interests in many areas of the United States, but not Southern California. If anything, it is a crucial time to get your gardening gloves and boots on.


Plant Fruit Trees


An assortment of different bare root fruit trees would be ready at the nurseries and ready to be planted during this month.


They include apricot, blueberries, plum, apple, pear, peach and raspberries trees. Add organic compost to the soil; it boosts soil aeration and keeps it moisturised. Doing this will boost the tree yield. 


Plant Artichokes


You should include artichoke plant in your garden. But plant them four feet apart from themselves.


Their growth and development start in winter, and by spring, they start developing the artichokes head.

Plant Garlic Cloves

Be sure to separate cloves from a garlic bulb. Their pointy part should be up when you put them into the earth. That is the clove should be pointed up. They should also be about 7 to 8 inches deep into the soil.

The good thing about them is that they are resilient against winter and the cold it brings. Get ready to harvest the bulbs and their juicy cloves in late spring or early summer.


Keep The Weeds In Check

The sad thing about rain, regardless of its innumerable benefits is that weeds thrive with rain. It really doesn’t matter how irregular the rain is.

Weeds have this tendency to compete with your vegetables and flowers and they grow more quickly than them.

You will want to keep them in check, and you can do this through the use of mulch. Apply layers of mulch to wherever you see the weeds.

If they are in the process of taking root or already taken root into the soil, uproot them before applying some layer of mulch to the area.



Plant Wildflowers From Seed
The first thing you have to do here is to do some raking of the flower bed area. Add California poppy and other wildflowers to the area and cover them slowly with earth.
To boost flower production during spring, plant the seeds moments before a rain.
Move Living Christmas Trees Outside
Whatever tree you have from Christmas should not spend much time indoors, they should be taken out.
Pine trees can shoot up to 40-50 feet tall if they are outside. They have a strong root system, so as they grow and spread, they can fracture walkways in their path.
So you know what to do to avoid this; plant them in a large area that can take them.

Take Special Care of Poinsettias

Poinsettia flowers have a generally good lifespan and normally, they remain strong till March.

After March has passed, reduce the length of the stems to about eight inches tall. They will replenish the lost height by June when new growth begins.

They should not be directly hit by sunlight and the soil has to be reasonably moist. After the weather becomes warmer, transfer the plant outside and relocate to a bigger pot.

New flowers will start growing in October and their beauty will reach its peak between November and December.

Buy A Rain Barrel

You should expect some rain during this month so why let it all go to waste? Buy some rain barrels to collect the water that runs off your roof ; they will be useful.

These barrels, on average, can store up to 50 gallons of water. This will go a long way when irrigating your garden.

Plant Trees And Shrubs

What are you waiting for? If you haven’t done this already, you should. Fill in unused spots with cool-season annuals like pansies, snapdragons, calendulas foxgloves, Iceland poppies, linaria and stock.

This gives the best results if the temperature is hardly lower than 35 and hardly higher than 80 or 85 F.

Also, plants bare-root fruits and vegetables. These include strawberries and rhubarb. Plant them as soon as you can get them from the nurseries.

Prune Roses

You might need to trim your roses. Actually, you should, especially if you are in the hottest areas. Trim the length of your rose to induce new growth. The average length to prune back to is about 6-8 inches.

An addition: be sure to spray your roses with horticultural oil to avoid dealing with insects later.

Plant Some Seeds Indoor At First

This is necessary for  low desert regions or other areas where you are sometimes (six to eight weeks) away from the normal frost date.  

Seeds you should first plant indoors include warm-season annuals like tomatoes, marigolds, peppers, cosmos, zucchini, impatiens, salvia, basil etc.

If you don’t want to plant indoors, you will have to wait until you are sure that the odds of experiencing a cold temperature are low. Then, purchase seedlings at the garden centre and plant.

You know you have to continue weeding and make sure you water them too, they really need it.

Add Fertilizers To Lawns And Mow

You should try to fertilize your lawns especially those planted with ryegrass, bluegrass, and fescue.

Grab the lawn mower and get it tuned-up and have the blade sharpened- you can do this by yourself though.

Make sure you change the oil, clean or change (if that’s what it needs) the filter. You would do yourself a lot of good if you buy an extra mower blade. You get the logic behind this, right? You won’t have to halt your gardening activities because you have a spare.

Mow your lawn at regular intervals and mow it to the right height.  That is the best way you can put the weeds in check and keep the grass thick and healthy.

If the weather is cool, mow cool-seasons lawns (bluegrass, ryegrasses etc.) at about 2 inches. Endeavour to raise the mower to 3 inches the moment the weather starts getting to 90 F.

For warm-season grasses like Bermuda, Zoysia and St. Augustine, mow them at 2 inches throughout the whole season.

Lastly, keep harvesting cool season crops as this will boost more production.

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