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Mid-South:  What's happening in YOUR area in January 2017? Toplef10Mid-South:  What's happening in YOUR area in January 2017? 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Mid-South:  What's happening in YOUR area in January 2017? I22gcj10Mid-South:  What's happening in YOUR area in January 2017? 14dhcg10

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Mid-South: What's happening in YOUR area in January 2017?

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Mid-South:  What's happening in YOUR area in January 2017? Empty Mid-South: What's happening in YOUR area in January 2017?

Post  AtlantaMarie 12/31/2016, 8:07 pm

Happy New Year! I hope that you're all looking forward to a new start, whether it's in your garden, a new job or career, or whatever the case happens to be for you.

My goals for the year?

Well, finish the greenhouse for one, lol!

I'm reading through some of my Christmas presents - Teaming with Nutrients, Teaming with Microbes, Mini-Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre. I'm getting all sorts of ideas that will hopefully be incorporated into my garden this year. And, of course, I'm looking through my seed catalogs for new ideas!

Eat more fruits & veggies. Make some extracts & balms from my herbs & flowers. Get my worm bin going. Get a good irrigation system going in my beds.

Gee, sounds like I'm going to be busy....

In looking at NOAA.gov, they are predicting a drier, warmer winter thanks to La Nina. Since we're still in a drought situation, I'm hoping that the Old Farmer's Almanac prediction of "penetrating cold & very wet" is closer to reality. Although we CAN skip the "penetrating" part. :-)

In Zone 7b, Gardenate.com says we can go ahead & get sowing & planting. Here's their list for the month:

Broccoli Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks.
Cabbage Plant in garden.
Carrot Plant in garden.
Celery Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks.
Kale (also Borecole) Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks.
Lettuce Plant in garden.
Mustard greens (also gai choy) Plant in garden.
Onion Plant in garden.
Potato Plant in garden.
Radish Plant in garden.
Spinach (also English spinach) Plant in garden.
Turnip Plant in garden.

And if you've looked at the video Has 55 posted about winter sowing, you know that you can start today!

Urban Farmer gives us this:

It's time for garden catalogs to arrive in the mail. January is a great time to start planning what vegetable varieties will be grown in the garden. Look through your catalogs and find the vegetable seeds for your garden. Some flower varieties should be started in January. In a warmer environment you can plant certain vegetables but must be ready for a frost. Indoor herbs are always great to grow in a sunny windowsill.

Tomatoes and Peppers
Get a head start on the growing season by starting your tomato and pepper seeds indoors. Most tomatoes and peppers will take 6-8 weeks to reach transplant size so plan according to your climate zone!
Suggested tomato variety: Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Roma, Sweetie, Heirloom Blend
Suggested pepper variety: California Wonder, Early Jalapeno, Sweet Banana, Super Chili

Onions
Late January is a great time to start your onion seeds indoors if you live in a warmer gardening zone (6-10) For zones 1-5 start your onion seeds in mid-late February. Let the onions grow to 5-6 inches tall and cut tops off so they will be only 3 inches. Repeating this until they are transplanted helps strengthen the roots and health of the onions.
Suggested onion varieties: Sweet White Walla Walla, Candy Hybrid, Yellow Sweet Spanish, Nebuka Evergreen

Herbs
Herbs are defiantly the most popular indoor plant to grow throughout the winter months. Try your hand at these 5 most popular herbs. Also check out the Urban Farmer Herb Kit
Suggested variety: Basil, Chives, Oregano, Parsley, Thyme

Annual and Perennial Flowers
Now is a great time to get your spring flowers germinating and ready for spring! There are many different varieties of annuals and perennials with different grow times. Pay attention to grow times so that your flowers are ready to be planted after last frost. Below are some good varieties to start in January for a last frost in March and April!
Annuals: Zinnas, Marigolds, Geraniums
Perennials: Rudbeckias, Daisies, Poppies, Coneflowers

The HD Garden Club has all SORTS of chores for us!

Winter is the best time to examine the bones of your garden.

With the leaves on deciduous plants gone, you can see where you need structure, where you need evergreens and where you need to prune. You also have time out from planting and harvesting when you can think about building structures, such as walkways, decks, raised beds or seating areas. Our generally mild winters are a plus in this, as you can get outside even in January to mess with lumber, edging or stepping stones. Go out, stare at your gardening space and draw a map of what is already there. Consider what you’d like to keep and what isn’t working. Envision what you’d like to see there and draw it in on your map. Draw a plan for how to build what your mind’s eye sees and make a materials list. Gather the materials and get started. Then, any day that’s warm enough to work, you’re ready.

VEGETABLES
Get a soil test kit or take a soil sample to your County Extension office to find out the pH of your soil and whatever nutritional needs it has. The County Extension office test kit has room to write what you plan to grow in the area, and the results will come back with specific instructions as to how to raise or lower the pH and what nutrients that crop will require. Go ahead and make adjustments this month. It takes a while for amendments to do their work. Lime, for example, takes at least two months to break down and begin to raise the pH of the soil for crops like tomatoes, asparagus, peppers and other lime/calcium loving plants. Compost takes about as long to break down into usable nutrients.

Think about which areas you’ll be using for which crops and consider their needs. Potatoes, for example, like more acid soil than tomatoes or beans, so leave off the lime where you plan to grow them. Blueberries are another acid-loving crop, so amend soil where you plan to plant them with lots and lots of organic material such as leaf mold, rotted manure and pine straw. Blueberries can be planted this month.

You can plant dormant bare root perennial vegetables or berries, such as asparagus and strawberries, this month. Follow planting instructions that come with the plants. Different plants have different needs for maintaining dormancy until warm weather returns. Our mild winters have wreaked havoc with some plants, such as asparagus, not getting enough cold time to become completely dormant or remain that way until warm weather returns. If they are not dormant, a sudden hard freeze will kill them. You may have to chill some roots or bulbs in your refrigerator before planting.

You may still be harvesting kohl family greens: cabbage, collards, kale, chard, mustard, etc. Depending on the weather, you may also still be pulling carrots, turnips and beets. If a hard freeze is expected, pile mulch on top of root crops to moderate the soil temperature. They should keep pretty well in the soil over winter if you don’t have problems with voles or borers.

Start seeds for lettuce, snap peas and other early crops you’ll be setting out in March. Order seed potatoes to plant at least two weeks before the last frost. Yukon Gold and Norland Reds grow well in Zones 7 and 8 because they are early-mid season crops and can be harvested before the worst heat of the summer.

ANNUALS AND PERENNIALS
Pansies and violas are amazing plants. They are able to withstand freezes and bounce back with happy faces when the weather warms up. They do this by withdrawing water from the above ground parts of the plant down into the roots. When temperatures warm, the water is released back into the leaves and flowers. Keep them mulched and well watered and enjoy them all winter. They won’t survive the hot summer, but by then everything else will be in bloom.

Plant container grown or bare root roses this month. Keep mulched and watered.

Plant summer- and fall-blooming perennial bulbs now. Sow frost-tolerant perennial seeds now. Start seeds of summer-blooming annuals indoors for planting out in March.

Dormant hostas, asters, phlox and other perennials may be dug up and divided now.

TREES AND SHRUBS
You can still plant trees and shrubs this month, especially fruit trees and evergreens. Keep watering the ones you planted in the fall if rain doesn’t provide. They are growing roots whenever the soil is warm enough, and hydrated plants withstand hard freezes better than ones that are stressed from lack of water. Keep them mulched out to the drip line, at least.

When you move your living Christmas tree outdoors to the hole you dug for it when you bought it, make sure you remember that the tree will not always be the cute little six-footer you bought. A white pine can grow to be 100 feet tall, a hemlock to 70 feet. Make sure you’ve given the tree’s eventual size adequate consideration in choosing its site.

Now is the time to prune fruit trees. Cut off any diseased or damaged wood and prune out the vertical water spouts. Try to encourage strong horizontal branching and a strong central leader for apple and pear trees. Peach trees, on the other hand, like to be pruned into an urn or vase shape without a central leader.

If you want to prune evergreens (most don’t need it), do it now when the pine bark beetles are dormant.

Prune camellias after they bloom.

If you have blueberries, prune back the old canes (five years or older), leaving five to seven younger fruiting canes. You’ll have fewer berries come spring, but they will be larger and sweeter.

Protect tender plants from frost with row cover or frost protection blankets.

LAWNS
If you are planning to plant a fescue lawn next month, you may want to get the ground ready late this month by tilling and adding a heavy-on-the-nitrogen lawn fertilizer, such as 22-2-2, according to the instructions on the package. Don’t till unless the soil is dry enough to crumble in your hand, otherwise you’ll damage the structure of it and wind up with compacted soil that won’t grow a thing. Make sure to remove weeds, including the roots, from the area where you plan to plant fescue.

Warm season grasses, such as Bermuda, centipede and Zoysia, need no particular attention this month.


You've heard my goals for this year. What are YOURS?

Happy Gardening! Have FUN!
AtlantaMarie
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Post  sanderson 1/2/2017, 3:11 pm

Wow! What a list of things one can do in your area. I'm still in the January rest mode, except for building a new Berkeley hot compost pile.

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Post  Scorpio Rising 1/3/2017, 7:42 pm

Here in the Midwest, it is strictly catalogs and seed inventory and planning!    Finding your heating pad, buying starter mix, coming soon to a home near you!
Scorpio Rising
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